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Horrific Scene with Tragic Outcome Discovered on FL Hwy

Horrific Scene with Tragic Outcome Discovered on FL Hwy

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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.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    Horrible story. Hope the little boy recovers and the rest of the children are safe.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    Why the hell is the kid still with this sick couple. The article quotes that the couple was under investigation for child abuse. What kind of child welfare agency allows a child to remain in custody of the parents after abuse has been reported and investigated? I think even Satan would scorn them for one should ever have to endure something like this especially a child. It's a damn shame.

  • Wolf_001_max50


    over 3 years ago


    OMG! I pray for this little boy and the rest of the children. I hope this monster that hurt them feels a lot of pain
    before he recovers. Then he should be doused again and rot in hell where he belongs!

  • John_groh_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Bump alexy

  • In_remembrance_of_oakland_pd_max50_max50_max50_max50_max50


    over 3 years ago


    This will be a homicide investagation before it is over. The poor boy has some major injuries to overcome. I am praying that he does not suffer anymore.

  • 012_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I cant wait to hear the full story on this but I have a hunch that its going to get worse. That poor boy, my heart just breaks for him. I pray he doesnt suffer to much. As for the POS that put him in this position, May God have mercy on your soul because I know we wont

  • Littlegirltongue_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I agree Robocop - sounds like the acid just adds to what was already transpiring. Including the investigation that was recently being initiated - so many prayers to Victor and the remaining children

  • 1979_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Did I miss it? It doesn't say who or what was in the garbage bag but it kinda indicates that it may have been the injured boys twin brother. It also seems that the boy may have been accidentally burned because the acid spilled and seeped into the cab and on the seats. That is also the reason this POS was injured and is now in the hospital. We need to let the investigation complete itself and see what is going on.
    One of the other things I have noticed is that many of these "Foster" parents are nothing more than lowlifes looking for the handout that the Government hands out to those that watch these poor kids. DCF is a joke and does not do their jobs by checking out these families to make sure they are good people. Instead they are running around checking every stupid complaint that they hear about, usually made by someone who has a grudge against the family they are complaining about. They manage to screw up those 'investigations' as well.

  • Flowers_20_234__max50


    over 3 years ago


    I don't understand why POS's like this dreg don't take their own lives first, before they harm a child..My heart hurts for this child

  • 041105-o-9999g-012_max50


    over 3 years ago



  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


  • Radio2_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Bump alexy..

  • Ba_old_glory_max50


    over 3 years ago


    bump alexy.

  • Joefriday_max50


    over 3 years ago


    The lower reaches of hell await for Jorge Barahona. Pray for that child.

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