Adoptive mother charged with murder in Barahona child death case
- From: Michael Snyder <msnyder@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 5 Mar 2011 14:42:44 -0800 (PST)
Miami-Dade police on Saturday arrested Carmen Barahona, the adoptive
mother whose 10-year-old daughter was discovered dead on Valentine's
Day along Interstate 95.
She and husband, Jorge Barahona, will be facing charges of first-
degree murder, aggravated child abuse and child neglect for the
slaying of Nubia Barhona.
Carmen Barahona, 60, went voluntarily to Miami-Dade police
headquarters for questioning late Friday. She was booked into jail
Saturday afternoon, a jail spokeswoman said.
More details of her arrest were not immediately available Saturday
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It was on Valentine's Day that a road ranger in West Palm Beach found
Jorge Barahona's red pest control truck on the shoulder of Interstate
95. Victor, Nubia's twin bother, was in the front cab drenched in
toxic chemicals, Nubia in the flatbed, decomposed and stuffed in a
trash bag. Jorge Barahona was passed out nearby.
Victor was released from Jackson Memorial Hospital's burn unit last
week, and child welfare administrators have said he is recovering
nicely in a therapeutic foster home, though he will need continuing
medical care and counseling.
Miami-Dade police and prosecutors assumed control of the death
investigation after Victor, finally well enough to be interviewed,
suggested to detectives that Nubia's injuries were inflicted inside
the family's West Miami-Dade home.
Detectives have searched the home several times, recently hauling away
a bathtub. The Barahona's 6-year-old granddaughter reported to a
therapist that the twins were being bound hand and foot and made to
spend hours upon hours inside the bathtub of the family's home.
The therapist, on Feb. 10, called in the tip to a Department of
Children and Families abuse hotline — four days before Nubia's corpse
was found. The state child welfare agency has drawn intense scrutiny
since the discovery. DCF has released a host of agency records
detailing the twins' abuse over much of their short lives.
Nubia, records showed, was petrified of her adoptive mother, who, she
told school workers, would beat her feet with a sandal if she learned
the girl had wet her pants. Nubia also was afraid her mother would
learn she was hoarding food in a book bag because she was always
Last week, Carmen Barahona filed for divorce against her husband. The
woman's lawyer said Carmen had been the victim of domestic violence
for much of her marriage, and should not be held responsible for what
occurred inside the Barahona's West Miami-Dade home. Carmen asked for
custody of her three surviving adoptive children, though the children
all are under the supervision of DCF, which has placed them in area
Victor, agency heads have said, may be headed to Texas, where a
paternal aunt and uncle have sought custody of him since 2004.
Jorge Barahona remains in the Palm Beach County Jail without bail on
charges of attempted murder and aggravated child abuse.
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