BEXAR COUNTY - The death of a five-year-old child is putting the crime of child abuse in the spotlight. Cases continue to spike in Bexar County at an alarming rate. In fact, comparing the past 4 years it seems more children are being abused each year.
We found pictures of the faces whose lives were cut short allegedly at the hands of the person caring for them.
"It's very sad for us every time we hear of a child death in Bexar County," said Yolanda Valenzuela, vice president of Child Advocates San Antonio.
Last year, a total of 19 children died in Bexar County. Statewide, a total of 208 died.
What's most disturbing is the number of children who had to be removed from their home because of abuse or neglect. In 2009, that total was 1,265. Fast forward to 2012 for a total of 2,156.
"The important part that the community needs to understand is that they need to get involved," said Valenzuela.
Child Advocates San Antonio said witnesses play a key role in stopping child abuse and even saving a life.
Unfortunately, for one five-year-old, help didn't come in time. Josiah Williams died two days after Christmas. His autopsy reveals he was malnourished, weighing only 38 pounds. His father, stepmother and now step-grandmother are behind bars.
His case is similiar to that of four-yearold Jovanni Ochoa.
"Basically he was starved to death," said Valenzuela about Jovanni's case. He weighed only 16 pounds the day he died.
"That was a sad, sad day around Christmas time in 2003," recalled Valenzuela.
A new bill was just introduced to the Senate floor, it's called the Protect our Kids Act. The bill addresses violence against children.