exposing the dark side of adoption
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Author: CYNTHIA BURTON, Daily News Staff Writer

Montgomery County detectives are treating the death of an adopted 4-year- old El Salvadoran boy as a homicide, officials said yesterday.

Dr. Theodore A. Garcia, the county coroner, said he ruled the death of Carlos Beltran a homicide after an autopsy last Friday night showed a pattern of child abuse. Beltran was killed with "a blunt instrument wielded by someone. The child did not run into a wall," Garcia said.

He said the child, who arrived in the United States last April, died of beatings to the head, stomach, arms and legs that occurred 24 to 36 hours before his death.

Garcia said he found the child also had older bruises. "It's more than child abuse to me. It's homicide, " Garcia said, adding that the boy was an otherwise healthy child.

The boy's body was found Friday by Franconia Township police in an upstairs bedroom in the home of his adoptive parents, Peter and Christian Moyer, of the 400 block of Miniger Road, said Oscar Vance Jr., Montgomery County chief of detectives.

Peter Moyer, 33, called police after discovering the boy was dead, Vance said.

When police arrived at the home, Christian Moyer, 35, and the Moyers' natural children, Laura, 4, and Jenny, 2, were there.

Officials at the county's Office of Children and Youth refused to say whether they had received any reports of abuse of the child.

Vance said no arrests have been made and that detectives still are trying to determine which adoption agency brought the boy into the United States. He said detectives believe he came through a private agency in Huntingdon Valley.

On Monday, a jury in Camden County declared it was unable to reach a verdict in the case of Mimi Rohrer. She was accused of killing her son, adopted from El Salvador, through a pattern of abuse in 1975. Prosecutors have not decided whether to retry the case.

1984 Dec 19