We just posted on this case earlier today. It's now been confirmed that the dead body in the truck was the daughter's (just as I had predicted). Though custodial adoptive dad JORGE BARAHONA is very cagey about admitting that he actually murdered her. He just put her dead body in his truck, then attempted suicide, see. He is also extremely vague and "inconsistent" about how the boy ended up in such a horrible state, with seizures and massive chemical burns. Notice that the boy had extensive signs of previous abuse, all while Florida DCF dithered. Why did mom lose custody again?
Father confesses he drove to PBC to set himself on fire with son, dead daughter in truck
By Michael LaForgia, Eliot Kleinberg and Cynthia Roldan
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Updated: 11:54 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011
Posted: 8:29 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011
WEST PALM BEACH — The western Miami-Dade County pest exterminator found Monday on the side of the road, his acid-splashed adopted son in the front seat of his pickup and an acid-soaked corpse in the truck bed, has confessed to police that he placed his dead daughter in the bag and drove to Palm Beach County with plans to kill himself, according to a West Palm Beach Police report.
Jorge Barahona, 53, who is in police custody but still hospitalized this morning, told police he was "distraught over the death of his daughter and intended to commit suicide," the report said.
Barahona, who's still at Columbia Hospital in West Palm Beach, is charged with felony aggravated child abuse in the attack on his adopted son, Victor, who doctors say suffered "severe internal reactions," police spokesman Chase Scott said Tuesday night.
More ominously, the police report said, doctors found "prior injuries" on the boy: a broken collarbone, a broken arm, scars on his buttocks and lower abdomen, and rope marks on both wrists.
It was only after decontamination workers began checking the truck's bed that they spotted a limb in the plastic bag and discovered the girl's body, according to the police report. It does not say how 10-year-old Victor's twin sister, whose name has not been released, died, although authorities have confirmed she has been missing since Saturday and that the body found in truck was covered in acid and "extremely deteriorated."
Police have said they expect to file more charges against Barahona soon.
Barahona and his wife Carmen, 60, were raising four adopted children, ages 7 to 11, officials said. State Department of Children and Families officials plan to go before a state dependency court judge in Miami this afternoon for a ruling on whether to take custody of the two remaining children, who now are in the care of the Carmen Barahona's parents.
A "Road Ranger" had found the red 1998 Toyota pickup, emblazoned with the name of Barahona's company, about 5:30 a.m. Monday on the east shoulder of Interstate 95 between Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard and 45th Street.
Victor was in the front seat, dripping in acid and writhing with seizures, officials have said. His father was on the ground outside the vehicle. It was only hours later that workers found the corpse among tubs of unlabeled chemicals.
In the West Palm Beach Police report, Barahona said he'd driven north and had pulled onto the side of the expressway "where he would easily be found."
He said he gave the son a handful of sleeping pills and told him to take them so he could sleep.
He said the boy's head remained on his lap as he sat in the driver's seat, pouring gasoline over his own head from a gas tank.
"Jorge intended to ignite a lighter to set himself on fire, but he could not do it" because the boy was in the truck with him, the report said.
When police confronted the father with the fact that he had no obvious burns on him similar to those found on the boy, he said some of the gasoline must have splattered on Victor.
"Jorge's account of events is inconsistent" with the boy's injuries, the report concluded.
Police spoke briefly with Barahona and his wife but were unable to interview the boy, who remains this morning in the hyperbaric chamber at the intensive care unit of St. Mary's Medical Center, suffering from severe burns to his abdomen, upper thighs and buttocks.
Jorge and Carmen Barahona already were the subject of a DCF child abuse investigation.
On Thursday, spurred by a call to a state abuse hot line, DCF opened an investigation into the Barahonas, the latest of "several" such probes into the couple's treatment of their children, DCF spokesman Mark Riordan said Tuesday.
DCF has scrambled to see to the safety of the two remaining adopted children, who had been in state foster care and were placed with the Barahonas between 2001 and 2009, around the same time Victor and his twin sister were adopted.
Jorge and Carmen Barahona were married in Coral Gables in 1996, records show. The couple ran CJ's Pest Exterminator Inc. from their well-kept home at 11501 S.W. 47th Terrace. Neither had a criminal record in Florida, state records show.
To adopt children from the state's foster program, the Barahonas had to pass a rigorous background screening and attend training classes, Riordan said.
Staff writers Alexandra Seltzer, Ana M. Valdes and staff researcher Niels Heimeriks contributed to this story.