"That's the way I see my son yesterday. I had to see him on a bed, dead," said DeAndre's father, DeAndre Franks.
Hawthorne resident Hector Ernest Jr., 26, faces a charge of murder. Family members say that Ernest had been abusing the toddler for months. Family members even took pictures of suspicious bruises on DeAndre's body in October, and they said they called police and child protective services, but nothing was done.
"We went the legal way, and it failed us over and over again. Man, this boy got beat over and over again. We showed pictures, we kept reporting," said DeAndre's uncle, Kevin Pinkard. "It failed us."
Investigators believe that the fatal attack occurred at the couple's Long Beach apartment on the 3100 block of Springdale Drive, and they believe that there may be numerous witnesses.
"We believe very strongly at this time that there was someone that lived in the neighborhood where these people were either residing or frequenting, who either saw or heard former abuse on this child," said Jackie Bezart of Long Beach police.
If you have any information about this case, contact Long Beach homicide detectives at (562) 570-7244.