MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade leaders have renamed a South Florida road Friday in honor of 10-year-old Nubia Barahona, who was found dead in the back of her foster father’s pick-up truck in West Palm Beach.
A stretch of road near the intersection of SW 117th Avenue and 47th Terrace was re-named “Nubia Way” during a ceremony Friday morning.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez attended along with Miami-Dade commissioners and Joanne Muniz, the former president of the Blue Lakes Elementary PTA, where Nubia attended school.
“From now on, when people pass through this intersection they will see a sign with Nubia’s name on it. A brave child who will never be forgotten,” said Mayor Gimenez.
Along with co-designating the street in her memory, Commissioner Javier D. Souto launched a campaign to combat child abuse.
“Nubia came here to deliver a message and the message is that we need to take care of our kids,” said Commissioner Souto.
“The pain and suffering she endured must not be in vain,” said Mayor Gimenez. “Today with this street name unveiling, Miami-Dade County is unveiling an anti-child abuse campaign.”
The campaign includes a poster, also unveiled Friday, which features a child abuse hotline for residents to call if they suspect a child is being abused. The posters will be installed in all County facilities such as libraries, and parks to better inform the public.
In the crowd, CBS4’s David Sutta found Nubia’s half brother. Quiet and reserved, he said he had to attend the street renaming event.
“I feel really good for her,” said Jimmy Muray. “Because it’s my sister and I didn’t really know her until now.”
Muray is 17-years old and shares the same mother with the Nubia and her brother Victor. His adoptive mother tried to reunite them for years.
“We tried to adopt Victor and Nubia, along with other family members,” said Nanette Badger. She hopes something like this never happens again. “I hope Miami-Dade County gets the message that this is not okay and the idea that it’s okay to beat your kids and everybody keeps it a secret is not okay.”
Nubia’s foster parents, Carmen and Jorge Barahona, are charged with first-degree murder in Nubia’s death. Her partially decomposed body was found in a garbage bag in the back of Jorge’s truck on Valentine’s Day. Her twin brother survived, but was badly burned after he was doused with a toxic chemical. He has since moved to Texas to live with his biological uncle who wants to adopt and raise him.
Police said the Barahonas abused the twins for months and locked them in the bathroom. The Barahonas have pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty.
If you suspect a child who may be a victim of abuse, please call the DCF abuse hotline at 1-800-962-2873.