March 5, 2011 -- The adoptive mother of a 10-year-old Florida girl whose badly decomposed body was found in a truck where her brother was also found, severely burned with toxic chemicals, has been charged with murder in the little girl's death.
Carmen Barahona, 60, was booked today at the Miami-Dade County Jail on a charge of first degree murder in the death of Nubia Doctor, and seven counts each of agravated child abuse and child neglect.
She was being held without bail, according to the jail web site.
Miami-Dade Police sent out a media release this evening saying they would not discuss the case until Monday, when Police Director James K. Loftus will hold a news conference.
"This continues to be an active investigation and further information will be released as it becomes available," Det. Alvaro Zabaleta said in the statement.
Barahona's husband, 53-year-old Jorge Barahona, is being held in the Palm Beach County jail on a charge of attempted murder for allegedly dousing Nubia's brother, 10-year-old Victor Doctor, with toxic chemicals. He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first degree attempted murder
Police found Victor on Feb. 14 covered in chemical burns and overcome by toxic fumes. Hours later in the bed of the pickup truck where Victor was found, authorities discovered the remains of Nubia Doctor, decomposing in a garbage bag.
Victor was released from Jackson Memorial Hospital on Tuesday and was placed in a therapeutic foster home.
A doctor had reported on his progress at a court hearing on Wednesday, saying the boy was "really doing well."
Dr. Walter Lambert said the boy was well enough to bathe himself, had asked about his parents and requested a hamburger.
"He has asked what I think are very good questions about what is going on," Lambert said.
Officials said they hope to put the boy back in school, after he has been home schooled with his other siblings for more than a year.
In the days since the children were found, the state has removed two other children, a girl named Jennifer, 7, and a boy named George, 11, from Barahona's home and placed them in protective foster care.
Carmen's biological granddaughter, who made frequent visits to the Barahona home, told a school therapist about the abuse, saying the twins had been bound and forced to stand in a bathtub. The therapist then called a child abuse hotline.
At a hearing Wednesday, state officials said Jennifer and George had been deprived of medical and dental care, allegations similar to those found in documents released this week by the Florida Department of Children and Families reporting on Nubia's health.
Jorge Barahona's Other Children Show Signs of Neglect
Officials said George, an 11-year-old autistic boy, would need two root canals and two teeth removed as well as treatment for several cavities. Jennifer would also require a root canal and teeth removed, Lambert said.
Police spent Wednesday digging up the backyard of the home belonging to Jorge Barahona, but would not say what they were looking for the in yard.
"This is part of an ongoing investigation. We're building a case and cannot comment," said West Palm Police spokesman Chase Scott.