NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade Police homicide investigators are questioning the husband of a 29-year-old mother and the couple’s two little girls whose bodies were discovered inside the closet of their home.
The home on the corner of Northwest 4th Street and 73rd Ave. remained a crime scene Wednesday night that was still sealed off by yellow crime scene tape and guarded by an officer sitting inside a Miami-Dade Police car.
Disturbing new details are emerging about Machado’s husband, 28-year-old Alberto Sierra, whom records show married Machado last year.
According to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald, Sierra was accused of domestic battery against Machado in 2010, the year before they were married.
According to the newspaper, Sierra was arrested after Machado said he bit her on the left forearm and took off with her gun. She later claimed she found her gun and said it was not stolen, the Herald said.
Two months later, the newspaper said Sierra was arrested and charged with possessing 79 grams of ecstasy. He also reportedly had a 9 mm Smith and Wesson gun with him illegally.
A CBS4 check of records shows that Sierra has an arrest record dating back to 2005 when he was charged with assault with a deadly weapon. In 2009, he was arrested twice for allegedly selling cocaine. A prostitution charge was filed against him in 2010.
In 2011, records show he was charged with illegally possessing a weapon. That same year, he was jailed after being charged with illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. He served 364 days and was released on June 22nd of this year.
Miami-Dade Police are not commenting about Sierra or this case or revealing details of the murder itself. They do say they are actively pursing leads.
Neighbors and family friends tell CBS4 that 29-year-old Gladys Machado and her two daughters – 4-year-old Daniella and 8-year-old Julia – were found murdered inside their home Tuesday that is just east of the Palmetto Expressway and just north of Flagler Street.
Family friends say a woman who lives in an efficiency apartment behind Machado’s home made the gruesome discovery after she smelled a foul odor.
Neighbors tell CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that they are horrified.
“I was shocked because I talked to a police officer and he told me he couldn’t even go in there because it was one of the worst things he has ever seen,” said Kristina Gomez, who has lived in the neighborhood for 22 years.
“It’s shocking that someone could do this,” she said. “I see them almost every day. I used to see her walking her girls and putting her babies in her car. It amazes me how someone could be so cruel. I feel crushed. I live right across the street from them and for someone to do something like that to a mother and her girls is incredible.”
“I can tell though they had problems,” said Gomez. “For some reason, they did not connect.”
The Department of Children and Familes tells CBS4 that the family did have a history with the agency. But the children were never taken from the home, DCF said.
Carol Marvin Miller with the “Miami Herald” reports that DCF has had at least four interactions with the family.
Neighbors say they had only recently moved into the home where the crime happened.
Family friends also say Machado had a son who is about 7 years old. But he was not at home when the crime happened because he was with his Grandmother and is safe.
Machado’s sister told D’Oench that the family requested privacy and she did not want to say anything.
Machado worked as a registrar at Beauty Schools of America and attended KeiserUniversity.
“It’s terrible,” said Jeff Gonzalez, the Executive Director of Beauty Schools of America.
“Gladys had been here a couple of years as a registrar and we are very sorry. We send our condolences to the family.”
If you can help Miami-Dade Police with this crime, call Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).