Police: Body Of 10-Year Old Girl In Toxic Truck

MIAMI (CBS4) – Details from an arrest report are beginning to paint a grim picture as to what happened before Jorge Barahona’s truck was found on the side of I-95 Monday with a strong smell of chemicals, his son burned, and the body of his daughter in the back of his truck.

According to the arrest affidavit from West Palm Beach Police, Jorge said he was traveling north on I-95 from Miami to West Palm Beach on Valentine’s Day after he placed his dead daughter in a plastic bag in the rear of the truck.

In the arrest affidavit, Barahona told police that he was accompanied on the trip by Victor and that he was distraught over the death of his daughter and intended to commit suicide. Jorge Barahona told police he pulled his truck over onto a grassy area of the expressway so that he would easily be found, according to the arrest affidavit.

According to West Palm Beach Police’s arrest affidavit, Jorge said he gave Victor a handful of sleeping pills and told him to take them so he could sleep. Jorge said Victor’s head remained in his lap as he sat in the vehicle’s driver’s seat and began pouring gasoline over his own head from a five gallon tank, the affidavit stated.

Jorge told West Palm Beach Police that he intended to set himself on fire, but couldn’t do it because Victor was there with him, according to the arrest affidavit.

In the arrest affidavit, West Palm Beach Police said Jorge had no obvious burns to himself, but Victor did suffer severe burns to his abdomen, legs, and buttocks. When hospital workers further examined Victor, police said prior injuries were found including a broken collarbone, broken arm, scars on his body, and ligature marks on both of his wrists, West Palm Beach Police said in the arrest affidavit.

According to the arrest affidavit, when police asked about the severity of the injuries to the boy, Jorge said some of the gasoline must have splattered onto the boy. But, police said the explanation was inconsistent with Victor’s injuries and that he didn’t have gasoline on him.

Barahona was taken out of the hospital just after 2 p.m. Wednesday and booked into jail in Palm Beach County.

Victor has been moved to the burn unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital and during a Wednesday hearing, it was revealed that his condition is worsening because doctors don’t know what chemical was used to burn him.

While the arrest affidavit answers some of the questions surrounding the bizarre incident that started on Valentine’s Day; there are still questions surrounding the girl’s body which was found wrapped in a garbage bag and decomposing in the back of the truck.

The story started Monday when a Road Ranger spotted Barahona’s truck parked on the side of the road near the Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard exit. When the truck was still there hours later, the ranger pulled over to offer assistance. When he approached the truck, Barahona’s 10-year old adopted son Victor stumbled out of the cab; police said he was suffered from chemical burns and appeared to have a seizure. When the ranger looked inside the cab, he saw Barahona slumped in the driver’s seat.

The ranger contacted police who called in a Haz-mat team. They also called DCF who sent investigators to Barahona’s home and noted that Victor’s sister was missing. In examining the truck the Haz-mat team found the cab was covered in an acid-type chemical; they also found a body among containers of chemicals Barahona used in his pest control business in bed of the truck.

According to the arrest affidavit, the body in the rear of the truck is the deceased daughter of Victor Barahona.

Just days before the body was found, the Department of Children and Families reportedly received a call that the man had been abusing two of his two adopted children.

According to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald, a child who lived near Jorge Barahona told their teacher that he would bind his adopted children’s hands and feet with duct tape and only release them so they could eat. The teacher called DCF and reported the suspected abuse.  According to the paper, at least one of Barahona’s other adopted children has confirmed that the children were kept bound in the Barahona’s home.

As of Tuesday night Victor remained in fair condition at St. Mary’s Hospital.  Late Tuesday, the girl’s body was removed from the truck. The strength of the chemicals made it hard to move the body.  In fact, just to get it into the medical examiner’s vehicle was difficult.

“I believe they tried to do a partial decontamination,” explained West Palm Beach Police spokesman Chase Scott explained. “Then the bag was placed into another bag, which was placed into another bag, then on the gurney and then placed into the vehicle for transport.”

Barahona’s truck will be towed to a secure FBI facility.

According to DCF, Barahona and his wife Carmen, 60, have been foster parents for decades.  A few years ago, they took in Victor and his sister and later adopted them.  The couple also has two other adopted children living with them in the home at 115o1 SW 47th Terrace; a 7-year-old girl and an 11- or 12-year-old boy.

Before the Barahona’s adopted Victor and his sister, DCF confirmed that they had been the subject of three reports to the abuse hotline. The agency declined to detail the nature of these reports.

Carmen Barahona reportedly told investigators that she and her husband had recently separated and that she had custody of the couple’s other two children — not Victor and his twin. Those two children were taken into DCF custody and during a hearing Wednesday, Judge Cindy Lederman ordered that “no one that had any idea what was going on in that home will have any contact with these children whatsoever.”

Judge Lederman was stunned DCF got the case on February 10 and the kids were dead on February 15. The DCF investigator said the probe was slowed by the mother’s lies and by the weekend. The judge angrily replied “So we don’t do investigations on weekends?”

Click Here for more on the custody hearing.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report)

  • June Sullivan

    What is wrong with people??? I am so sick to my stomach over this. The poor children… omg what they have endured and what poor Victor went through that day. I just can’t stop crying for him. AND WHAT IS WRONG WITH DCF… My finance’ had his children taken away when his ex wife (who left him and the children 6 years earlier) made false accusation of abuse and drug abuse. How… HOW…… is it DCF left these poor Barahona children in these peoples care. Why is Carmen Barahona not arrested. She obviously knew about the abuse, didn’t protect them and don’t doubt that she was involved. My finance’ ex-wife makes false accusations and they scoop his children away with absolute no evidence and these poor Barahona children have obviously suffered years and DCF did nothing? Something has be done with DCF….. and they too should absolutely be indicted. Lives could have been saved.

    • Billy Budd

      DCF is not to blame. The parents are to blame. DCF workers work 24/7 and the case loads are overwhelming and the amount of work required is unimaginable. Investigators get calls day and night from families never allowing the Investigator to “ catch their breath”. NO sooner that they receive one case that another new report one comes in to be investigated. The requirements on Investigators are hampering the system. False reports from one parent on another, when in custody battle, clogs up the system and yet all reports have to be investigated fully, even if one knows they are false. One cannot ascertain fully the scope of abuse immediately ( on first visit to a home). The Investigator is not to blame. DCF does not pay enough and the turnover is enormous thus leaving skilled investigators to be replaced by new ones that have little experience. People call for housing and bunk beds, cars, toys, electric to be paid, water to be paid, Birthday gifts for their children, uniform money for their school age children, bunk beds, furniture, etc, and they are made into reports. These frivolous reports to the hot line require a ” full blown investigation” thus the system cannot handle the amount of investigations, thus terrible things such as this occur. Cases are not triaged thus frivolous cases receive the same investigatory steps as serious ones. It takes 6 months before an investigator starts to receive cases on a regular basis and by that time many others have left thus there is ALWAYS a shortage of workers. One can expect more of this because of the way Tallahassee has structured the Hot Line. Too many false reports do not allow the investigator time to fully investigate valid abuse and this is getting worse and worse. It will continue until the system crashes completely. .

      • Wild Bill

        It does not take a trained investigator to determine that the inability to locate an alleged victim of child abuse is an urgent situation that requires immediate involvement of law enforcement and aggressive follow up. There is no evidence that DCF met any common duty to either the murdered child or the injured child in this case. DCF does in fact share responsibility for these horrific incidents. Had they competently investigated any of the multitude of complaints against either parent the parents would not have been able to murder or injure their children because the children would have been properly removed from their home and the parents would be in prison. Incompetence is by definition the absence of basic skills needed to perform an occupation. There is no other word to describe the conduct of every DCF investigator that had contact with this case. The parents should be tried for their crime, and the involved employees and agents of DCF should be fired, and should the law permit, criminally charged as well. Billy, your defense of the DCF investigators in this case on the grounds that their workloads are so large that they cannot tell actual abuse from a false allegation is only further proof of their incompetence. Any investigator with basic skills can accomplish that task- and does so as a matter of routine. Hold DCF accountable for the one thing that counts in the world of child protection; outcomes. Effort doesn’t cut it.

  • lovingParent

    I agree…DCF leaves a HORRIBLE taste in my mouth..from the social workers to the people in the leadership positions..things need to change in order to protect innocent children. I pray for a change and I will work tirelessly to ensure I am able to make some type of difference. Iwill pray for the recovery of the child in the hospital..such a shame…it could have been prevented. :-(

  • Sad parent

    I can not believed ! 2 monsters in charge of poor children. How many other children have been abused in all of these years ?
    Who is guilty here ? Start with The Barahonas. The father because he is obviously with mental problems and the mother because she knew the abuse of these poor children and fail to protect them.
    But how about the DCF , where where you when evaluate these foster parents. To all the employees related to the case: the death of this poor girl will follow you forever !! how come you didn’t do your job properly !! ( you should have follow very thoroughly psicological evaluations to the parents, lots of susprising visits at any time, inquisitive questions to the parents, neighbors, friends, to the children, etc. if there is a red flag) and what do you do ? 15 minutes visits to the parents, have a chat at their door and come back again in one month (thinking that you did a good job ).
    And please don’t tell us that DCF has a low budget with too few employees, because thats not an excuse to allow a monster to kill his own child !! if DCF wants to be a mediocre institution with mediocre employees not even all the money will change that. When are going to hear that due to oportune intervention of DCF some children are saved of monster parents.

    And how about the judge ? Mr. Jugde, tomorrow you will be enjoying a meal with your family and having a good time, but did you know that your order to protect a child didn’t come on time and now a litle angel is dead. Did you make sure your order was properly done or you just sign a paper and turn around for the next case ?

    It seems we are all guilty of the death of this little girl. We, as a society fail to protect the most importat asset of our future: our children. It breask my heart that indiference kill this angel. Indiference of the mother, Indiference of DCF, indiference of all of us.

  • m

    DCF kills childrens for a living through other people’s hands. They want to get rid of all the people that ask for help…starting with children, so they won’t reach adulthood and appear at one of their offices to ask for help.

    That’s what should be on their job description. CHILD KILLERS!!

  • Jane Doe

    DCF is joke but most of them are. I called as did numerous people from my condo building, the property manager and police officers about a mom. It was only when threats were made about going to the person in charge and the media did they do something.

  • DeeDee

    What kind of fool with DCF would allow these people to adopt 2 more children when there were abuse allegations. Whoever failed to investigate the suspected abuse, and whoever allowed the adoption without an interview of the other kids and an in home evaluation should be fired.

  • Michelle

    satan truly walks among us. Let us join in prayer for the life and future of not only this child of God, but all the others out there that are considered to be throw away children. There is NO Such thing as a throw away child. People STEP UP and YELL, STOMP your feet, BEATt your chest til someone listens when abuse is suspected in your community,

  • Joe Wiram

    This is sick I pray the State of Florida goes for the death penalty of both parents in this case.. Its the only punishment that fits this crime.

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