Courts & Crime

Chilling tales coming out of Miami in Barahona child abuse case

Chilling flashbacks from the short, tormented life of Nubia Barahona were recounted Tuesday by a child-welfare lawyer who periodically broke into sobs.

Christine Lopez-Acevedo, a former attorney for the Guardian ad-litem Program, recited mostly by memory from official child welfare records: Nubia telling a teacher she was going to be beaten with footwear; Nubia locking herself in a bathroom and crying hysterically at the thought of her mother being called to the school; Nubia promising to behave better if a principal promised never again to call her mother.

The records were readily available in 2009 when a Miami judge approved the adoption of Nubia and her twin brother Victor by foster parents Jorge and Carmen Barahona.

The adoption would turn tragic. On Valentine’s Day, Victor Barahona, was discovered in the cab of his red pickup truck along Interstate 95 in Palm Beach County, soaked in toxic chemicals and suffering seizures. Next to him, passed out, was Jorge Barahona, who runs a pest control company. Hours later, Nubia’s decomposing body was discovered in the bed of the pickup, shoved in a bag. Like her brother, she was 10.

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