MIAMI (CBS4) – A 10-year old southwest Miami-Dade boy who was suffering severe chemical burns when he was found along I-95 on Valentine’s Day may be released from the hospital as early as Friday.
That update was given to Miami-Dade Judge Cindy Lederman during a custody status hearing on Wednesday for the boy’s adoptive mother Carmen Barahona. The doctor told the judge that the boy, Victor, has made remarkable progress. Barahona did not attend the hearing.READ MORE: Man Sentenced In Fort Lauderdale For Stealing Veteran, Social Security Benefits
A caseworker from the Department of Children and Families also told the judge that Barahona’s two other adopted children were receiving psychological “trauma treatment”. The only sign of neglect, other than Victor’s severe burns, is that all the children have bad teeth and lots of cavities, according to the caseworker.
At the conclusion of Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Lederman ruled that all three of the Barahona’s adopted children should remain in state custody. A biological aunt and uncle from Texas are seeking custody of Victor.
Meanwhile, authorities in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties have combined forces to look for answers in the Barahona family tragedy.
On Wednesday, Miami-Dade police focused part of their search for answers at the Barahona’s home, specifically on an old septic tank in the back yard.READ MORE: CBS4's Steve Goldstein Previews The NFL's Divisional Round Playoffs
Investigators say the search of the septic tank was instigated after they received information from one of Barahona’s neighbors about a rotten smell that lingered for weeks.
“It smelled like something was dead,” said the neighbor who requested that CBS4 not reveal his name. “I thought something had died in the attic or in the wall or something. But it just stayed right in my bathroom, mainly coming out of the drain of the tub.”
He added that it only disappeared a day before the badly decomposed body of Nubia, Victor’s twin sister, was found in the back of Jorge Barahona’s pick up truck in West Palm Beach.
“The smell disappeared that Sunday before they found his truck on the side of the road,” the neighbor said. “We haven’t had the smell since. It was just a dead carcass smell.”
Jorge Barahona, who has pleaded not guilty to attempted first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse for allegedly pouring chemicals on Victor, is being held without bail.MORE NEWS: Miami Proud: Trailblazer Celebrated For 25 Years Of Service To The South Florida Autism Community
At this point in the investigation, no charges have been filed against Carmen Barahona.