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DOCS: Woman who allegedly killed foster child had diagnosed PTSD, trauma

Posted at 7:46 PM, Mar 07, 2024
  • Video shows the offense report related to Margaret Eichhorst, the woman charged with the killing of her foster child.
  • Court documents related to the three-year-old killed in a foster home in Oildale show that the resource parent, Margaret Eichhorst, was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and PTSD before becoming a foster parent.

When deputies first arrived to 513 El Tejon Avenue, they walked in to see Margaret Eichhorst administering CPR to a child not breathing. According to court documents, the child was three-year-old Alejandro Andres Perez Jr., a foster child under Eichhorst’s care.

Photo of 3-year-old Alejandro Andres Perez Jr. who died

Deputies reported that when they first saw the child, he had several bruises and cuts along his head, face, and body. They noticed hexagonal patterned bruises on his back and a yellow liquid substance near his nose and mouth.

Eichhorst was originally brought in for questioning, the documents said. she told detectives she had been caring for Alejandro and two other foster children for around 6 months. She said she remembered giving him a bath and putting him to bed the night before.

Detectives noted that when they left the room, interview footage showed Eichhorst looking at the warrant receipt and mumbling something similar to “shower rug?...did I, oh god,” according to documents.

Since she wasn’t under arrest at that time, Eichhorst was taken back to her home.

The documents state that detectives also requested Eichhorst’s Resource Parent Application from Kern County Department of Human Services. As part of the RFA, email exchanges and entries regarding Eichhorst note that on July 5, 2023, Eichhorst was in counseling for “childhood trauma… suicidal ideation.. and that she was concerned about placement of a child who had been sexually abused," as "she may be triggered,” according to the documents. The entry stated that some of these concerns had been mitigated while some hadn’t.

Detectives also noted Eichhorst was a military veteran and documents said she’d been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Further examination of the toddler by a pathologist showed he had several external injuries, internal bleeding, as well as a small tear to his heart, according to documents.

Cause of death was ruled as blunt force trauma to the head.

Along with two other foster children, Eichhorst's nine-year-old biological daughter was living in the home. In an interview at the Jamison Center, the child said she was sad “because she had seen her little brother die in front of her." Documents said, "she saw him struggle to breath, open his eyes one last time, and stop breathing." She said "her mother told her he fell off his bed," according to documents.

Eichhorst was arrested and taken into custody on February 16.

Detectives note in the report that after the arrest, a walk through of her home showed her belongings were mostly boxed up and it “appeared as if [she] was attempting to flee.. to avoid prosecution," according to the documents.

Eichhorst is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on May 13.

We reached out to Kern DHS regarding the concerns outlined in the documents. They responded with the following:

Good Morning



Our Department is in receipt of both of your media requests. Although we’re unable to comment on the specifics outlined in your email, the Resource Family Approval (RFA) application process and requirements are located on our department’s public website at Resource Family Approval (RFA) | Kern County, CA - Department of Human Services (kcdhs.org) [kcdhs.org]. Applications are processed in accordance with the RFA Written Directives issued by California Department of Social Services which are located at Written Directives Version 8.0 (ca.gov) [cdss.ca.gov].
Kern DHS


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