Amanda Cooper, 10 [Updated]
Died Nov. 27, 2010
Amanda Cooper, a 10-year-old Latina, died Saturday, Nov. 27, in the 4800 block of West 132nd Street, which is on the border of Del Aire and Hawthorne, according to authorities.
Deputies arrived at the home about 7:20 a.m. on a rescue call, said Sgt. Richard Pena of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
"They found an unresponsive 10-year-old white female," he said. "The girl was transported to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead."
Emergency room doctors said the girl’s body showed evidence that she had been sexually assaulted, a possibility also noted in the coroner’s records.
Her death was included on a list of homicides released Monday by the coroner’s office. The ruling is considered preliminary. Her final cause of death has been deferred pending additional investigation, including lab tests expected to take six to eight weeks.
At the time of her death, Amanda was under active supervision of the Department of Children and Family Services, according to a source familiar with the case.
Amanda's aunt spoke to KTLA on Sunday and said her niece had been diagnosed with a terminal disease – leukodystrophy, a degenerative brain disease — and only had a short time to live. She said the family was stunned by the allegations of sexual abuse.
"If there's anything, we want to know. That's why we want to be left alone because we want the police to do their job. Of course we're worried about that. Just the thought of it sickens me," the aunt told KTLA.
Detectives interviewed Amanda's stepfather at length, according to KTLA. No arrests have been made in connection with the case.
The Times will have more information about this case as it becomes available.
[Update Nov. 29: Ed Winter, spokesman for the coroner's office, said there has since been a security hold placed on the case, and he is unable to provide any additional information on Amanda's death.]
— Hector Becerra and Sarah Ardalani
Follow the Homicide Report on Twitter @latimeshomicide.
Updated: Dec. 1, 2010 at 3:58 p.m.