Father Burns Daughter Alive Amidst Custody Battle
A Queen’s father is accused of burning his 3-year-old daughter alive in a car amidst a bitter custody battle.
Martin Pereira murdered his daughter, Zoey Pereira on Sunday by trapping her in his vehicle and chaining the doors shut to prevent her escape. The heat from the fire was so intense that it melted the inside of the car.
According to the New York Times, Pereira was in a bitter custody battle with his daughter’s mother Cherone Coleman. Coleman allowed Zoey to stay with her dad for the weekend,
“I always thought he was going to hurt me, I never thought he was going to hurt my daughter,” she said.
Apparently, they had been fighting over custody and on Sunday he called her saying,
“Do I have your attention now, b—? I got your attention now, b—. You’re never going to see your daughter again.”
Just a few hours later, police responded to a 911 call of a car burning on Boulevard and 155th Street. Pereira is reported to have escaped from the vehicle while on fire. He then jumped into the pond to save himself. Firefighters discovered the burning body of Zoey in the car along with two cans of gasoline and a propane tank. They tried to give her chest compressions, but, she was pronounced dead at the hospital.
later recovered the dad in the pond and transported him to the hospital where he is being held under police custody.
Police are treating the death as a homicide.