Calif. Parents Claimed Son, 4, Drowned in Pool. They Just Pleaded No Contest to Torturing Him to Death

Noah Cuatro's autopsy showed sighs of prolonged physical abuse

<p>gofundme</p> Noah Cuatro


Noah Cuatro
  • Jose Cuatro and Ursula Juarez pleaded no contest to the murder and torture of their son, Noah

  • Noah Cuatro was found dead in 2019 after his parents called 911 reporting that he had drowned

  • Noah had reportedly been removed from the custody of his parents before being returned to them in 2018

Five years after claiming their son drowned, the parents of a 4-year-old boy pleaded no contest to torturing and murdering him.

Jose Cuatro, 32, and Ursula Juarez, 30, entered their pleas last Friday, KABC, FOX 11 and the Los Angeles Times reported. Their son, Noah, died in July 2019 in what was originally reported as a drowning by his parents, PEOPLE previously reported.

When first responders arrived at the Palmdale, Calif., location, the parents told police they found Noah floating motionless in a communal pool, according to a complaint previously reviewed by PEOPLE.

But an autopsy determined that the boy’s death was unrelated to how he was found, and authorities ruled that his body showed signs of prolonged physical abuse, according to the complaint. The cause of death was ruled a homicide.

Related: Calif. Parents Said Boy, 4, Drowned in Pool — But Now They're Accused of Murdering Him

Cuatro and Juarez were charged with murder in September 2019.

Cuatro pleaded no contest to first-degree murder and torture charges and will face 32 years to life in prison, while Juarez pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and torture and will face 22 years to life in prison, the outlets reported.

<p>Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times via Getty</p> Ursula Juarez and Jose Cuatro

Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times via Getty

Ursula Juarez and Jose Cuatro

Citing court documents, FOX 11 reported that Noah was repeatedly abused by his parents. The Times previously reported that Cuatro and Juarez had lost custody of Noah more than once, and placed in the custody of his great-grandmother Eva Hernandez.

Noah was returned to his parents in 2018, the outlet reported, but the Department of Children and Family Services later launched an investigation after receiving a tip that he had been sexually abused.

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The Times also reports that Hernandez filed suit against DCFS in 2020, alleging that they failed to prevent Noah’s death.

Following the pleas entered by Cuatro and Juarez, Noah’s aunt Maggie Hernandez spoke to KABC.

"I'm really happy with the results today," she told the outlet. "I don't forgive them for what they've done. Because we really loved Noah so much."

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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Read the original article on People.