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Azalea Lisbeth Villarreal, 28

Azalea Villarreal, a 28-year-old Latina, died Thursday, July 6, after being beaten in the 6200 block of Lanto Street in Bell Gardens, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records. 

Bell Gardens police officers were called to Villarreal’s home at 10 a.m. July 5 for a “medical rescue,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Guillermo Morales said. Villarreal lived in the home with her boyfriend and their 4-year-old daughter, Morales said.

When officers arrived, they found Villarreal lying in the front yard “with visible injuries to the upper torso,” according to a sheriff’s news release.

Villarreal was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 2 p.m. the following day, according to coroner’s records. The cause of death was listed as blunt force trauma to the head.

Her boyfriend, Michael Robles, a 32-year-old Latino, is accused of hitting Villarreal multiple times.

“He’s a big guy, and she was very petite,” Morales said. “There’s no indication that he used a weapon other than his hands and fists.”

Investigators think that Villarreal and Robles got into an argument on the night of July 4 and that Robles beat Villarreal many hours before he called police, Morales said. 

Robles was arrested the morning that Villarreal was found and pleaded not guilty on July 7 to charges of murder and child abuse, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

In filing the child abuse charge, prosecutors say Robles hit Villarreal while she was holding their daughter. The girl was not injured, Morales said, and is in the care of her mother’s relatives.

Robles is being held in lieu of $2.1 million bail. He is due back in court July 19.  

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.  


12:55 p.m. July 19: An earlier version of this article spelled Villarreal's surname as Villareal.

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