Brutal Death of a Ten Year Old Fresno Boy

January 6, 2009 11:18:18 PM PST
A 10 year old boy is dead after police say he was abused by his mother's boyfriend. Seth Ireland died overnight from injuries suffered in an attack late last month. The boy's mother, Rena Ireland, and her boyfriend, Lebaron Vaughn, are now facing several felony charges. While they sat in jail Tuesday night, several neighbors came together to pray for an end to child abuse.A crowd of men, women, and children stood in the cold holding candles as they paused to remember 10 year old Seth Ireland. Karina Gutierrez says she moved away from the neighborhood two years ago, but remembers seeing Seth as a child. "He used to follow my son around, he was a lot younger," said Gutierrez.

Many of those gathered say they didn't know Seth Ireland personally. Still, they came to grieve for the young life lost. "They are people who didn't know who Seth was but they are here in unity to stop the stop the child abuse,' said neighbor Chang Thao.

Seth was a 5th grader at Columbia Elementary. 10 year old Angie Thao learned of his death Tuesday morning. "I was sad, because that was someone in my class and he was really young," said Thao.

Fresno police say Seth was first attacked late last month. They say his mother's boyfriend, Lebaron Vaughn, admitted to the abuse, while his mother, Rena Ireland admitted to watching. A family friend didn't want to be identified but told Action News the entire family suffered abuse at the hands of Vaughn. John Thomas Kobos: "So it was a ritual beating in that household?" Friend: "Yeah, it was a ritual beating every morning."

The friend says the police and Child Protective Services were both notified of the abuse but did nothing. A CPS spokesperson confirms an investigation was opened back in August. Now the agency has launched a complete review of the case. And while those who gathered at Tuesday's candlelight vigil expressed disbelief, some who knew the family say a once happy and energetic Seth seemed to be withdrawn. "I had a feeling something was going to happen. The kids were going to get taken away or something was going to happen," said Jackie Ybarra.

Rena Ireland and Lebaron Vaughn are in jail booked on corporal injury to a child charges. investigators say they will pursue murder charges Wednesday.

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