MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Loved ones packed a temporary shelter hearing on Tuesday for a 3-year-old girl who was the sole survivor of a family tragedy that claimed four lives.
More than 20 relatives came before Broward Circuit Judge Shari Africk-Olefson who decided that a paternal cousin would have temporary custody pending another hearing on Friday.
The child will also receive therapy and grief counseling and her educational status will be evaluated as well. A guardian ad litem will also be appointed to look out for the child’s best interests. It’s not clear if the cousin of the father will have permanent custody.
There was testimony in court that the child’s grandparents would want to spend time with her as well.
“Let’s sort this out by the end of the week,” said the Judge. “This dependency hearing is about the child.”
She also said she was impressed by the turnout of family members.
“I can’t tell you how many children come through this courtroom with no family members and to see this, this is wonderful,” she said.
Family members said they did not want to say anything on camera but CBS4’s Peter D’Oench did speak off-camera with the brother of 35-year-old Pablo Colon, who police said took the lives of his 36-year-old wife Sandra and mother-in-law, 61-year-old Olga Alvarez and his other 3-year-old daughter, a twin before shooting and killing himself.
Colon’s brother said he had no idea why his brother did what he did and the family was looking for answers.
It happened just before 8:30 Sunday night in a subdivision at the Grand Palms Golf and Country Club. Police initially responded after they say there was a frantic call to 911 by the mother-in-law who was screaming.
Colon featured himself on Facebook. He was the owner of PCA Electrical Services which operated out of an apartment at 533 Antioch Avenue not far from Fort Lauderdale Beach. Company trucks could be seen outside the building on Tuesday and one woman who was helping shut down the business said she did not want to talk on camera.
Police say they do not have a motive. No note was left behind. They also said Colon had no known criminal history. He and his family rented the home for the past 6 months and authorities said there were no calls for service during that time.
Neighbors were stunned by this tragedy.
The victims’ neighbor Lou Rossi said “I lived not far from them and I don’t understand how people can do that to their whole entire family. It’s beyond my comprehension as far as I am concerned.”
Another neighbor, Ray Harnell, said, “We have a lot of troubled people in our country today. I think that’s pretty obvious. We do have to do something about these serious mental health issues. And we do need to know something about guns.”