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Father Charged For Chaining Daughter Inside Burning Car, Killing Her

A New York man who was able to flee a burning car and jump into a pond to extinguish the flames has been charged for the death of his daughter, whom he had chained inside the vehicle and set it on fire.
Audi A6 burns in Queens, NYC, with toddler chained inside 5 photos
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Martin Pereira, 39, was a person of interest from the start in the May 4 incident but, until recently, he wasn’t able to cooperate with the NYPD in the investigation because he had suffered extensive injuries in the fire. He’s been formally charged for the incident, People Crime reports.

When first responders arrived at the scene in Queens, NYC, they found a burning Audi A6 sedan with its back doors chained from the inside and the windows rolled up. The driver had managed to get out and jumped into a nearby pond, in a bid to extinguish the flames. Inside the car was a 3-year-old girl firefighters were able to remove only after the fire melted the chains. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Firefighters recovered cans of gasoline both from inside the car and from the pavement, and this is what led police to assume the fire was put intentionally.

Pereira has been charged with murder, arson, and reckless endangerment. Before the incident, he reportedly called his estranged wife to threaten her that she would never see her daughter again. He was rambling and was very nervous, the woman told the media after the girl’s death.

“The manner of the girl’s death has been ruled a homicide, but police have not revealed her cause of death,” People Crime reports. “Zoey was at the center of an alleged custody dispute between her estranged parents, who live on Long Island.”

Though it is believed Pereira is well enough to talk to the police, he is yet to enter a plea to the charges and it’s not immediately clear if he has retained an attorney.


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