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Horrific Scene with Tragic Outcome Discovered on FL Hwy

Horrific Scene with Tragic Outcome Discovered on FL Hwy

Video Screen Capture

The Miami Herald via YellowBrix

February 16, 2011

WEST PALM BEACH — Stranded in an old red pickup by the side of the road, the 10-year-old boy was dripping in acid, badly burned and writhing with seizures.

There was so much of it on Monday morning that it soaked the seats and carpet of the truck, filling the air with poisonous fumes.

Beside him slumped his adoptive father, unconscious and unable, for the moment, to explain what he was doing with the injured boy on the shoulder of northbound Interstate 95 – or to account for the grisly contents of the truck’s covered trailer bed.

Hours after father and son were taken to separate hospitals, the circumstances seemed suspicious to state workers but fell short of sinister. And then they found it: a corpse wrapped in a plain, black garbage bag, tucked in among tubs of unlabeled chemicals.

In a hastily assembled news conference on Tuesday night, a city police spokesman said the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner still was working to identify the “extremely deteriorated,” acid-covered body.

He declined to say whether it had belonged to a child or whether he or she was related to the truck’s driver, 53-year-old Jorge Barahona. The pest exterminator lived in western Miami-Dade County and, with his wife, was raising four adopted children, all younger than 11, officials said.

Although Barahona remained in intensive care at Columbia Hospital in West Palm Beach, police arrested him Tuesday night on a felony charge of aggravated child abuse in connection with an attack on his adopted son, Victor Vocter, said Chase Scott, agency spokesman. Police spoke briefly with Barahona and his wife but were unable to interview the boy.

The Florida Highway Patrol said Tuesday they had recovered a red, plastic gas container from the truck’s cab. The container reeked and was full of acid.

Scott said the attack happened by the side of Interstate 95 but declined to elaborate. He added that police expect to file more charges against Barahona in the near future.

Barahona and his wife, 60-year-old Carmen Barahona, already were the subject of a child abuse investigation by the state’s social services agency.

On Thursday, spurred by a call to a state abuse hot line, the Florida Department of Children and Families 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.

After the injured boy and the acid-burned body were found, DCF scrambled to see to the safety of Barahona’s remaining adopted children, who had been in state foster care and placed with the Barahonas between 2001 and 2009. Two of the children, Victor and his twin sister, were adopted at the same time.

It was too late for Victor, who lay Tuesday night at St. Mary’s Medical Center, so badly hurt that he was fitted into an incubator at the pediatric intensive care unit. Doctors who examined the boy said he suffered “severe internal reactions,” apparently from inhaling the chemicals, Scott said.

“We’re in the preliminary stages of an extremely tragic and complex set of circumstances,” Riordan said.

A state Road Ranger first spotted Barahona’s red pickup, emblazoned with the name of his Miami-based pest-extermination company, along northbound Interstate 95, between Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard and 45th Street, about 5 a.m. on Monday, the FHP said.

He passed the truck again two hours later and called for a trooper to take a look, setting off a series of official responses that saw Barahona and the boy rushed to nearby hospitals. A city hazardous-materials team remained to handle the dangerous chemicals on the truck.

By Monday afternoon, the state Department of Environmental Protection’s emergency responders were poring over the area, noting several large containers in the bed of the pickup. Some were marked, some were unmarked, and one 50- to 75-gallon tub was cracked and leaking, said DEP spokeswoman Cristina Llorens. A powerful acid pooled in the bed and soaked into the truck’s upholstery and carpet.

About 3:45 p.m., a DEP contractor called in to haul the truck away found the body wrapped in the black garbage bag, which had been removed from bed and placed by the front of the truck, Llorens said.

The discovery set into motion a painstakingly slow process that still was unfolding Tuesday night, as an FBI team worked to decontaminate the truck and clear the way for county forensic investigators to examine the body. About 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, investigators retrieved the corpse and brought it to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy.

DCF workers put the Barahonas’ other adopted children, between 7 and 11, in the care of Carmen Barahona’s parents, Riordan said.

DCF officials planned to go before a state dependency court judge today for a ruling on whether to remove the children from the Barahonas’ care.

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 in western Miami-Dade County. 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.

  • 1393794_10151798561878138_392793313_n_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I lived in west palm beach and see things like that happening is so sad.

  • Sheriff_3_max50


    over 3 years ago


    What an animal, I pray the boy makes a recovery....

  • Pug_max600_max50


    over 3 years ago


    The daughter (boys sister) was dead inside the black plastic bag and the son was covered with acid. May God grant them Eternal Piece and the culprits Eternal Hell.

  • 45089_396847393722850_1055776862_n_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I don't even know where to begin to comment on this horrific story...

  • Photo_user_banned_big


    over 3 years ago


    Yep, and I-95 was a big mess...
    May God bless their souls.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    There is a special place in hell for people like this. I pray that God watches over this boy and keeps him safe.

  • 100_1750_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I live in South Florida. On the news this morning they said the bag contained the burned boys twin sister. These children were all adopted. The judge tore DCF a new one this afternoon. This stuff happens too often. The DCF workers are overburdened. I just hope this boy can recover. Who knows what horrors went on in that home.

  • White_shirt_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Sorry I whimped out and could only read a small portion. Get well little one. Burn the scumbag(s)

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    "Barahona and his wife, 60-year-old Carmen Barahona, already were the subject of a child abuse investigation by the state’s social services agency." This is BS! The kids should NOT have been in such a situation! Just sickening!

  • Me_callie08172010_max50


    over 3 years ago


    This was just sickening. I can not begin to imagine the fear and pain this little boy has suffered or that of the other victim found deceased. May God bless this boy with a recovery or end his suffering and take him home.

  • On_the_job_002_max50


    over 3 years ago


    How is that sick animals like this are even allowed to adopt children?! I mean the article stated that they were investigating these animals, yet the children were allow to stay there? This animal should face the wrath of justice, and the officals at the child safety department should be charged for child endangering, as well. !!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    Bump Alexy.
    As for Jorge Barahona, I say no pain meds. Sick bastard...

  • Patch_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Remember, when you go home, hug your children and tell them how much they mean to you. This kind of scene escapes description for the lack of humanity shown by the suspect. I can only hope that there is some type of eternal suffering for this POS, and that he succombs to his injuries so that he may enjoy his eternal sentence sooner. Get those other children away from those monsters and into families that want children. What a cluster. I hope the officers and SA's involved get help if they need it.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    This is sad, I pray for the little guys recovery and God Bless the little girl that was lost.

  • Littlegirltongue_max50


    over 3 years ago


    coward - how did she die and if he was so distraught over the death of his daughter why would he kill the son along with himself - he certainly didn't end up doing the boy any favors. 1 child dead - her twin brother clinging to life. And the others are in the custody of the grandparents??? Get them into a loving foster home - get them the help they will surely need. I pray that God will watch over these innocent children.

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