TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — Florida lawmakers have approved a plan to pay $3.75 million to a boy involved in a case that rocked the state’s child-welfare system in 2011.
The money is part of a $5 million settlement in the death of 10-year-old Nubia Barahona and the injuries suffered by her twin brother, Victor.
Nubia Barahona’s decomposing body was found in February 2011 in the bed of her father’s pickup truck on I-95 in Palm Beach County. Her brother Victor, who was 10 years old at the time, was found convulsing in the truck, as both children had been doused with toxic chemicals, authorities said.
The Department of Children and Families was alleged to have failed to prevent abuse of the children and agreed to a settlement that called for paying $5 million. It paid $1.25 million but needed legislative approval of “claim” bill to pay the remaining $3.75 million. The Senate unanimously passed the bill Tuesday to pay Victory the rest of the settlement.
The child welfare agency has been criticized for allowing Jorge and Carmen Barahona to adopt the children despite signs of abuse.
Nubia and Victor were adopted by the Barahonas in 2009 after living in their home since 2004. The kids, authorities discovered, had endured starvation, beatings, medical neglect and they had been tied up and forced to stay in a bathtub.
The DCF came under fire during the course of the police investigation into Nubia’s death for failing to piece together warning signs from medical professionals and school officials that something was wrong in the Barahona home. The agency blamed it on a system wide failure, including poor judgment by child protective investigators, overwhelming caseloads and missed opportunities at every turn.
Nubia’s death prompted the creation of a task force to recommend reforms, such as hiring more child-abuse investigators and making changes to the state’s abuse and neglect hotline.
Jorge and Carmen Barahona are both charged with first-degree murder for the death of Nubia.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)