Police in California have arrested a man in connection with the death of a 10-year-old boy who recently said that he “liked boys.”

Deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department arrested Kareem Leiva, 32, on Wednesday after conducting an interview.

According to the Orange County Register, Leiva was dating the mother of the boy, Anthony Avalos. He was found unconscious in his home on Wednesday, June 20 and died the following day in a hospital.

Avalos' body showed signs of malnutrition and physical abuse, leading deputies to question the family's version of events – that he had been injured in a fall.

Authorities said that Leiva was arrested based on statements he made during an interview with police conducted on Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Times quoted the deputy director of the Department of Children and Family services as saying that weeks earlier, Avalos had “said he liked boys.”

While the mother is not considered a suspect, the state has removed eight children from the home.