Mom charged with killing daughter Nubia Barahona
BY DAVID OVALLE AND CAROL MARBIN MILLER
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 afternoon.
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 hungry.
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 foster homes.
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.