Mother's boyfriend named a 'person of interest' in death of Lancaster boy, 3, found with cut to neck

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Thursday, February 22, 2024
Lancaster boy, 3, dies after he's found with cut to his neck
A 3-year-old boy in Lancaster died after he was found with a laceration to his neck.

LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) -- A 3-year-old boy in Lancaster died after he was found with a laceration to his neck, and a man - the live-in boyfriend of the child's mother - was named a person of interest in the case, authorities said Wednesday.

Deputies responded just before 11 p.m. Tuesday to the 43400 block of 57th Street West on a medical rescue call, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. When deputies arrived, they found the victim "sustained a laceration to his neck."

The child was rushed to the hospital and was later pronounced dead. The death is being investigated as a homicide.

Rena Naulls, 39, was at the home and taken to a hospital for a medical emergency, according to the Sheriff's Department. He is in stable condition after authorities said he tried "to take his own life."

Naulls, the live-in boyfriend of the child's mother, has been identified as a person of interest but has not been arrested.

According to the Sheriff's Department, there were three other children in the home. All were unharmed and were placed in the custody of the county Department of Children and Family Services.

L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose district covers the Lancaster area, spoke with Eyewitness News on Wednesday and said she's working on getting more social workers in the Antelope Valley.

"I've worked hard behind the scenes to bolster the number of social workers up in the Antelope Valley, stop the hemorrhaging as it relates to transfers out, begin to focus on homegrown within the community, because who better knows the community than the people that are raised there, and recruit them to be social workers."

Anyone with information is urged to contact the LASD's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. You can also submit an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers by calling 800-222-TIPS (8477) or visiting the Crime Stoppers website.

City News Service contributed to this report.