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Nubia Barahona
May 26, 2000 - February 11, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial

Sandra K. Doctor was a woman with drug and alcohol problems who also had four children and was pregnant with twins. Sandra's first four children were taken away from her by the Department Of Children And Families, her twins would be taken away as well. Victor and Nubia were born on May 26 and it was reported that Nubia had medical problems which would require medication and possibly several medical procedures for being what was called "inter sexed". Victor and Nubia remained with their mother for about three years until they were removed from her care and placed with their father, Victor Bustillo. In 2004, Victor Bustillo was charged with having sexually battered another child and Victor and Nubia were taken from him and placed in the foster care home of Jorge and Carmen Barahona.

  

Jorge and Carmen already had one son who was adopted and that child was Autistic. There had never been any problems in the home until 2005 when Nubia reported that her father was molesting her. DCF did an investigation and wrongly determined that she had meant her biological father and they closed the case. In 2006, Nubia went to school with a big bruise on her face and the staff called DCF saying they suspected child abuse. Jorge and Carmen were told to bring her to the Department of Health's Child Protection Team, they were able to delay the visit for a week and by that time, the bruise had faded and Doctors there agreed that the bruise was from a fall.

In 2007, the school again reported their concerns to DCF when Nubia, who always seemed to be hungry, came to school very thin and smelling badly. Jorge and Carmen were able to convince DCF that the smell as well as the weight loss were due to her medical condition and the case was closed.

In 2009, Jorge and Carmen wanted to adopt the twins, but their Guardian ad litem, Paul Newman was hesitant to allow it to happen because he suspected that the twins were being abused in the home. Jorge and Carmen decided to write letters to everyone they could think of and even wrote to Governor Charlie Crist to say that they felt they were being treated unfairly and that there was a personality conflict with Paul who was trying to stop them from adopting the twins. Paul was removed ad their Guardian ad litem and in May of 2009, the twins formally became Barahona children.

Complaints continued to be called in to DCF by the school including complaints that Nubia was losing her hair. Once again, Jorge and Carmen were able to say that her medical condition as well as the medication she had to take, was the cause of the hair loss and DCF believed them without talking to Victor or Nubia.

On February 10, 2011, Carmen and Jorge's granddaughter Alessandra called DCF to say that she had been visiting her grandmother and saw that Victor and Nubia had their hands and feet tied up and were forced to stand in the bathtub for hours at a time. Alessandra was told she could not speak to the children if she had to use the bathroom and she felt like her grandmother was threatening her when she was told not to tell anyone because it was their family secret. Jorge, the 11 year old son they had adopted, tried to tell DCF that something wasn't right in their home during a home visit. Carmen told the investigator that he was "low functioning" and sent him out of the room to watch television.

On February 11, Jorge showed up at the home of his sister Laura Barahona, this was odd since the two had not been in contact for a few years. Victor was with Jorge and Laura could see that he had a split lip as well as marks on his wrists. Laura asked what happened and Jorge told his children had been trying to poison him so he tied them up and then he said he'd lost a child and told her that Nubia had jumped out of the truck, though he then said she was home with Carmen. Laura told Jorge that they needed to call the Police and she would help him to turn himself in. Jorge left the house. Laura and another brother both called DCF as well as Police to try to get someone to help the children. They didn't realize at the time that Nubia was already dead. Victor had watched as Jorge took Nubia from the bathroom that very day and then he heard her screaming as Jorge began to beat on her, the screaming only stopped when she was dead.

Laura and her brother Julio were both desperately trying to get someone to listen to them but it appeared to be hopeless. Julio called DCF and told them that the Police had given him the number to call:

"My sister had questioned Jorge about the little girl and he doesn't come with a straight
answer which is worrying me so much that something might have happened to that little girl"

   

Laura had already been to three different Police Stations looking for help for her nephew and niece. She was told to go to a Police Station in Doral. Being desperate, Laura called a non emergency Miami Dade Station:

"I tried  to explain to her my situation. I had called DCF throughout the weekend. I've been to two
Police Stations. Can you issue an Amber Alert"

DCF Investigator, Andrea Fleary, had been investigating the cause for about three days and she called Laura who told her that she had been getting the run around and that nobody seemed to want to help her. Sadly, only minutes later, Andrea got a call that Jorge and the children had been found.

On February 14, 2011, Jorge was seen by the side of the highway on Interstate 95. Jorge smelled of chemicals and was passed out, in the front seat of the truck was Victor who had been doused with chemicals and set on fire. It would be a couple of hours before Firemen  and the Hazardous Materials workers could get inside the truck but when they did, they found Nubia. Nubia had been folded in half and stuck inside of a plastic garbage bag, her body was already decomposing and had been doused with the same chemicals. Jorge had given the appearance of creating a murder suicide scenario.

In February, Carmen filed for divorce from Jorge and then Jorge and Carmen Barahona were arrested and indicted on 18 different charges including first degree murder, eight counts of child abuse resulting in great bodily harm, one count of child neglect resulting in great harm, six counts of child neglect without great harm, one count of child neglect without bodily harm and one count of mutilating a dead body. The couple, who plead not guilty to the charges, were facing the death penalty.

While in prison, Jorge tried to hurt himself at least twice, once by jumping backwards off of the sink in his cell, he landed on his head. Jorge was examined and it was determined that he was fit to stand trial, though he refused to cooperate and wouldn't go to court, he was given a $1 million dollar bail. Jorge tried to hurt himself again and was taken to the hospital for CT scan and upon returning to jail he was placed in the mental health unit.

Evidence was taken from the home, which oddly had an large amount of religious items in every room. Among the evidence taken was a child's bloodstained t-shirt, rolls of tape taken from two rooms, bloodstains from the bedroom headboard as well as from an armoire, patches of carpet, a comforter and other bedding, DNA swabs and documents including a letter that Jorge had apparently written in 2006. In the letter Jorge says that he had become addicted to pain medication and that he was a "news freak" who had become and expert in criminology by watching real crime documentaries on television:

"I know how over reacting detective, forensic doctor or prosecutors behave. Sometimes,
they behave with tunnel vision or they just abuse their positions"
An excerpt from that letter

Of course the defense can always be counted on to try to say that things are not as they seem:

"It's unfortunate that this partial picture of Mr. Barahona is going to be out there without
the total information from the defense. All the information about Mr. Barahona's mental
deterioration will come out eventually"
Edith Georgi

I can't see that he was mentally unable to hide what he was doing to these children, he had it planned out quite nicely, that is not a man who is mentally unstable, that is a cold, calculating, manipulative monster
 
Alessandra was taken from her home and away from her mother, Jennifer Perez and put into the home of her father, Yovani Perez and a Judge ordered that her mother and other members of her family could not have any contact with her since it was said that Jennifer had been psychologically abusing her by threatening her that she shouldn't tell about what she had seen with the twins in the bathtub.

As of today's date, Jorge and Carmen have not been to court, or not that I am able to find by researching this case.

UPDATE: November 30, 2014 (Thank  you to Charlene for this update)

In August of 2014 it was reported that Nubia's 11 year old sister, who had also been adopted and was referred to only as J.B. in a lawsuit, had filed a lawsuit against the Florida Department of Children & Families as well as two DCF investigators who were no longer with the agency. In the lawsuit it was stated that J.B. was a survivor of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Jorge and Carmen Barahona. J.B. had suffered through physical, sexual and emotional abuse at the hands of these two people who were supposed to love her and take care of her.

In the lawsuit it says that DCF ignored many red flags that showed the children in the home were being abused and that they left the children in the home even though they had every reason to remove them. Todd Falzone was representing J.B. and he said the case was a systemic failure:

"These people shouldn't have had any children in their home. One of our main goals
in pursuing cases like this is not only to compensate the kids, but to try to fix a system
that is ridiculously broken and just never seems to get fixed"

Along with DCF being named, Lacheryl Harris who was a counselor with Family Services and a Counselor for the children, Jean Lacroix and Eunice Guillot who were supposed to be the investigators for this case, were also named as defendants. Jean Lacroix had been charged with having sex with a foster child and was sentenced to a year and one day, in prison.

J.B. had been sent to live with the Barahona's when she was only seven months old and in 2007 they had adopted her. J.B. has spent time in therapeutic foster homes since she was removed from their custody after Nubia died.

The Barahona's were waiting for a trial and were facing the death penalty if they were convicted on charges of first degree murder, child abuse and child neglect in Nubia's death as well as the mistreatment of her twin brother, Victor.

Jorge was due to stand trial in May of 2014 and was seeking a change of venue asking that his trial be moved to Palm Beach Country, that request was denied.

In September of 2014 Jorge was in court after Judge Sandra McSorley had denied his request for a change of venue, the week before. On this particular day, the Judge also denied a defense motion that attempted to stop the jury fro hearing statements which Jorge had made to Police, the statements were made and recorded after Jorge had waived his right to speak with a lawyer and have one present while he was being questioned.:

"There were no overt threats or promised that were made to induce his responses. The
defendant freely, voluntarily and intelligently waived his right to counsel and his right to
remain silent.

Assistant Public Defender James Snowden said that the statements Jorge had made should not be allowed because at the time he gave them, he was too 'groggy" having recently been in a coma and being medicated, James said that Jorge was unable to think clearly. Assistant State Attorney Jill Richstone played some of the tape recorded conversation at the hearing and said that Jorge had known exactly what he was doing and saying. Jorge spoke on the tape of pouring gas on himself and says that he was thinking about committing suicide and also running away from Miami. Jorge denied that he poured anything on Victor.

Reports of hearings in 2012 said that Jorge and Carmen had skipped a lot of their hearings because they didn't like the media attention they received when attending them. Judge William Thomas finally put his foot down and said that he would no longer allow the couple to get away with staying away from their hearings. Judge Thomas said that since the state was seeking the death penalty against the couple, they needed to be present at all of their hearings. Jorge and Carmen had both plead not guilty to first degree murder.

This page was created on June 28, 2014
Death occurred in the state of Florida

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