MIAMI (CBS4) – Carmen Barahona’s daughter, Jennifer Perez, is distraught over her mother’s arrest, according to Perez’s attorney.
But, the attorney says, Perez knew it had to happen because her mother did something “extremely horrible.”
Carmen Barahona, the adopted mother of murdered Nubia Barahona, was arrested Saturday by Miami-Dade police.
She was charged with first degree murder, and 7 counts each of child abuse and child neglect. Her husband Jorge is expected to face similar charges.
Carmen was taken into custody Saturday afternoon. Jorge Barahona is in custody in Palm Beach County, facing charges for the attempted murder of Nubia’s twin, Victor, who had also been adopted by the Barahonas.
Nubia Barahona, 10, was found dead and stuffed into a plastic bag in the back of her adoptive father, Jorge Barahona’s pickup truck on Valentines day, her brother Victor in the front seat doused in chemicals and barely alive.
Late this week, the murder case against Nubia was transferred to Miami-Dade from Palm Beach county, after investigators determined she had been killed in Miami-Dade.
Miami-Dade homicide investigators have been examining the Barahona home in Southwest Miami-Dade, at one point opening a septic tank on the property and removing material, at another, removing a bathtub from the home.
A 7 year old relative claimed to a therapist that she saw Nubia and Victor forced to stand, bound, for hours in that bathtub. The therapist called in a tip fo the DCF Child Abuse hotline, but quick action was not taken. That incident and a number of other apparently missed signals have led to a blue-ribbon panel investigation into the way the Barahona case was handled.
It had been expected Carmen Barahona would be arrested once Miami-Dade took control of the case.
Sources familiar with the investigation tell CBS4 News that Carmen Barahona is claiming to be a victim of “battered wife syndrome” and that she is not responsible for what happened in her house because she lived in fear of her husband. Carmen has filed for divorce from Jorge Barahona.
CBS4 News spoke to Barahona’s divorce attorney, Richard Joyce, Saturday afternoon and Joyce refused to comment on the case.
A law enforcement source also revealed for the first time the actual cause of Nubia’s death — the autopsy found she died from “blunt force trauma” and that Nubia’s chest was caved in. “It was as if someone had stomped on her,” the source said.
Carmen Barahona has been ordered held without bond on the murder charges, and faces $57, 500 bond on the other charges.