Lancaster 3-year-old whose neck was slashed identified; homicide investigation continues

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

LANCASTER, Calif. – Authorities have identified the 3-year-old Lancaster boy whose neck was slashed earlier this week, as a homicide investigation into his death continues. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a child bleeding and not breathing inside a home in the 43400 block of 57th Street West just before 11 p.m. Tuesday. At the scene, authorities found the toddler suffering from cuts, lacerations, or stab wounds to his neck. He was taken to the hospital where he died from his injuries, officials said. He was identified on Thursday by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner as David Jacques Hernandez. A man at the home, later identified as 39-year-old Rena Naulls, was also taken to the hospital for treatment after attempting to take his own life, the sheriff’s department said. Naulls is the live-in boyfriend of the boy’s mother.  Sheriff’s officials say Naulls is a person of interest and currently no arrests have been made.  “When a minor is killed, it’s traumatic for all the parties involved. And for deputies, investigators, it can hit close to home. It’s a very heinous crime, and it’s very difficult to handle those types of scenes,” said Lt. Daniel Vizcarra with LASD Homicide.  Three other children were home at the time. All three were unharmed and were taken into protective custody by the Department of Children and Family Services. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Tipsters may also use the website If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 (Crisis Text Line). As of July 2022, those searching for help can also call 988 to be relayed to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.