Young Visalia boys died of pneumonia, autopsy finds

November 14, 2008 

Two boys found dead in their bed in Visalia a week ago today died of pneumonia, Visalia police reported Friday. Both boys were born with a rare birth defect and had health problems.

Police do not suspect foul play or neglect, Visalia police Sgt. Steve Phillips said late Friday.

"From what we see and what we've determined, it's just a horrible tragedy. We never suspected foul play," Phillips said. "This concludes our investigation."

The cause of death was determined from autopsies performed Monday. Results were given to Visalia police Friday afternoon by the Tulare County Coroner's Office, which also notified the parents.

The boys were identified by the family as Angel Camarillo, 10, and his brother, George, 2. A funeral will be held Monday at a church in Farmersville.

The brothers were each born with Glutaric Acidemia Type I, a genetic disorder, police said.

According to a National Institutes of Health Web site, those born with the disorder produce inadequate levels of an enzyme that breaks down three key amino acids, which the body uses to make the building blocks of protein.

Brain damage is common, especially damage to the basal ganglia, a region of the brain that helps control movement. Those affected often have difficulty moving and exhibit spasms, jerking, rigidity or decreased muscle tone.

The condition occurs in about 1 of every 30,000 to 40,000 people.

The boys were found dead in their bed by their father on Nov. 8. Angelino Camarillo, a truck farmer who grows fresh vegetables, told The Bee that the family attended church in Farmersville on Nov. 7, got home late and put the boys to bed around 2 a.m. Later that morning when he went to check on them, they were not moving.

Police tried to revive them, but they were pronounced dead at the home on East Houston Avenue.

The older boy was severely disabled and could not walk or talk but could understand Spanish, family members said.

They were the only children of Camarillo and his wife, Roberta Morales, who are from Oaxaca, Mexico. The boys were born in Santa Maria.

The reporter can be reached at lgriswold@fresnobee.com or (559) 622-2416.

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