SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- A heartbroken Southern California family is preparing to bury a little boy who died after police say he was found with signs of abuse. The child was living with his father after his mother was arrested for abusing his siblings.
Julio and Marie Osuna spoke to ABC7 at John Wayne Airport where the body of their 9-year-old nephew, Emrik Osuna arrived from Idaho for burial next week.
"I love you so much Emrik. I wish I would have been able to do more. But your voice will not go unheard. I will make sure it's heard from end to end," said Julio Osuna, the boy's uncle.
"I honestly just feel sick to my stomach. It's just not something that I would expect anybody to go through, especially with a child," said Marie Osuna, the boy's aunt.
Police in Meridian, Idaho responded to the boy's home on Sept. 1 where they say he wasn't breathing, had no heartbeat, with signs of abuse. Officers performed CPR until EMS arrived and took over, continuing CPR efforts.
Paramedics transported him to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to the Meridian Police Department.
Three other children, ages 9, 4, and four months old, were placed into protective custody, police said.
The boy's father Erik Osuna and step-mother Monique Osuna are in custody, charged in his death, which comes almost three years after his Santa Ana mother was arrested, accused of abusing his younger siblings, one year old twins.
Emrik was not harmed in the original case, and even lived with his aunt and uncle for some time before he moved out to Idaho to be with his father.
"For our detectives, that original case that belongs to us is an emotional case. Our detectives get attached to a lot of these cases and that's why they're here today," said Corporal Anthony Bertagna with the Santa Ana Police Department.
The Santa Ana Police Department worries about other abuse cases amid the pandemic and distance learning, with not much reporting coming in from schools.
"There are other outlets, and there's help out there for people that need it. So reach out, get the help you need. Abusing your child is not the answer," said Bertagna.
Which is why Emrik's loved ones are telling his story.
"I just hope that this reaches out to people and wake them up and to try and go get help, say something," said Julio Osuna.
"We will never forget him. He'll be in our hearts forever," said Marie Osuna.
Emrik was brought to a funeral home in Santa Ana where he'll be laid to rest next week.
Meridian Police Department said there is an ongoing investigation and asked anyone with information about the case to contact them.