Surviving Barahona twin alleges months of torture at hands of adoptive father
By Ana M. Valdes
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
The torture went on for months in the home of Nubia and Victor Barahona, where the twins were often doused with Clorox, drain cleansers and ice water and were fed just bread and a glass of milk once a week, according to documents released by prosecutors Monday.
Their adoptive father, Jorge Barahona, put a bag over Victor's head and almost choked him. Another time, he poured hot sauce into the boy's ears, eyes and nose, and glued his eyes shut.
Nubia had deep scars on her feet from being bound with rope or wire. Her feet were sometimes submerged in Pine-sol or Clorox. Days before she died last February, Victor later revealed, his sister had a rectangular-shaped scar that covered most of her forehead, and her feet were bound.
These and other gruesome details were released Monday in a taped interview with Katia Garcia, the foster mother who took care of Victor after the boy was released from the hospital last March. The interview, along with other documents from the investigation of Nubia's death, were released by Miami-Dade County's State Attorney's Office, following public information requests by The Palm Beach Post and other media outlets.
Victor was found Feb. 14, along Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach, severely burned from being doused with an acidic substance, documents show. His sister's body was stuffed in a black plastic bag in the back of Barahona's pickup truck.
Both Barahona and his wife Carmen are jailed, facing murder and child abuse charges.
According to Garcia, Victor said that besides a couple of days of homeschooling after being taken out of public school last June, the twins' days were spent confined to a bathtub and tied, hands and feet.
While the twins only ate milk and bread once a week, their parents and two other adoptive siblings feasted on meat, rice and other Latin dishes. Leftovers were for the dogs, not Victor and Nubia.
Victor had scars all over his body, signs that he was physically abused at home, Garcia said. The boy told Garcia that Jorge Barahona would often hit him with a mop stick, something Victor tried to hide, according to records.
"There's a scar in particular that he is afraid of showing when you cut his hair too short," Garcia said, adding that Victor has other scars on his lip and back as a result of being punched and hit by his father. The scars on the edge of his mouth were made when Barahona tied a sock around his mouth too, Garcia added.
Victor was once forced by his father to eat a cockroach. Victor didn't understand why, Garcia said. "You could tell that he was hesitant about talking to me about that, that he didn't really want to remember, perhaps, but he did," Garcia said.
Victor told Garcia the violence began years ago, when the Barahonas became the twins' foster parents, Garcia said.
"(Victor) says that he did not receive affection, that Jorge never said 'I love you,'" Garcia said. "He said from the very beginning, (Jorge) was always mean to his sister and him."
Victor, 11, is now living with biological relatives in Texas, but while he lived with Garcia, the boy would often think of his twin sister and cried on their birthday, Garcia said.
"If he talks about (Nubia), he stutters, he stalls, his eyes twitch," Garcia said. "He doesn't want to remember, he doesn't want to talk about what his sister went through or what he saw his sister go through," Garcia said.