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Deandre Green, 2 [Updated]

Deandre Green, a 2-year-old black boy, died Saturday, March 20, in the 3100 block of Springdale Drive in Long Beach, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.

Hector Ernest Jr., a 26-year-old black man from Hawthorne, is accused of slaying Deandre, who was pronounced dead Saturday at Long Beach Memorial Hospital, police said.

Hospital officials called police after the boy was taken to the facility by his mother and Ernest, her boyfriend. Hospital staff tried unsuccessfully to revive Deandre, whose body showed signs of physical abuse, the Long Beach Police Department said.

Detectives believe neighbors may have heard Deandre crying or being abused, according to Long Beach police.

Members of Deandre's family said they had warned police and Los Angeles County child welfare officials at least twice about possible abuse in the last few months of the child's life.

Deandre's father told The Times in an interview Tuesday that in October he had taken his son to the Hawthorne Police Department to show officials bruises on the child's chest and stomach. Deandre's cousin said she had called the county Department of Children and Family Services in February to report her concerns.

The cousin, Lavetta Jones, and other family members said their calls went unreturned for weeks. At one point, someone at the county agency told them the person they needed to talk to was on vacation, the family members said.

"It wasn't as urgent as it should have been," the boy's grandmother, Sharlynn Pinkard, 43, said. "We truly sensed something wasn't right."

Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Mark McGuire or Det. Greg Krabbe at (562) 570-7244.

[Update May 4, 2011: Long Beach man sentenced in beating death of 2-year-old boy]

-- Robert J. Lopez, Tony Barboza and Garrett Therolf

KTLA Video: Mom's boyfriend arrested in toddler's beating death

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