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      Child Abuse Awareness and Child Abuse Deaths

      Tucked away in Hidalgo county sits a children's advocacy center, also known as Estrella's house.

      The center is named after two year Estrella's Rojas.

      Robert Garza, Executive Director if Estrella's House says, "Estrella Rojas is precious and continues to be precious she's the beckon of hope.

      Little Estrella's life was cut short, she was murdered by her mothers boyfriend back in 2000.

      Estrella's story is all too familiar, the cycle of children murdered by the hands of abuse and neglect continues.

      As Action 4 News uncovered in 2009 in Texas alone 280 children died of abuse and neglect.

      In South Texas including Laredo, the Coastal Bend, and the Rio Grande Valley 20 children died in 2009.

      Texas Department of Family and Protective Services spokesperson John Lennan says, "Fourteen of the 20 were in the Rio Grande Valley, 10 children in Hidalgo county died in 2009 as a result of abuse and neglect, another four in Cameron county he also adds, "Those numbers are high."

      Robert Garza Executive Director of Estrella's House says, "It's not a CPS or Law Enforcement's a community problem."

      Children advocacy groups say the cycle of abuse needs to stop- but it starts with everyone taking an active role.

      Lennan says, "One of the messages that we want to get out there if someone had known about those 10 children from Hidalgo County or those four children from Cameron if they had suspected something they really need to call in" Unless child abuse is reported- no one may ever know.