DCF: Young Abuse Victim is “Improving” - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

DCF: Young Abuse Victim is “Improving”

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) A ten year old boy, who's at the heart of a very sickening child abuse case that unfolded in South Florida this week, is improving.

Department of Children and Family Services officials were visiting Victor Barahona at a Miami hospital Saturday afternoon.

The ten year old boy was found covered with acid along with his adoptive father on the side of I-95 this week. The DCF is not saying much about any conversation they had with Victor; however, they are promising a thorough investigation in the coming weeks.

"Victor's progress is better and his medical condition is improving," explained Florida DCF Secretary David Wilkins.

"I've spent the last hour talking to his doctors, understanding the care he's receiving from the team and I'm very hopeful his condition will continue to improve," he added.

Victor Barahona, the ten year old boy found inside a red pickup truck with his adoptive father, Jorge, has been under constant medical care for serious acid burns and broken bones since Monday. Authorities later discovered his twin sister, Nubia, dead in the back of the same truck.

Jorge Barahona told police he was distraught over his young daughter's death. He said he gave Victor a handful of sleeping pills and tried to commit suicide by dousing himself with gasoline, but decided not to go through with it. Barahona now sits in the Palm Beach County Jail. He's being held with no bond after pleading not guilty to charges of attempted first degree murder and aggravated child abuse. His wife, Carmen Barahona, has not been charged.

The DCF removed the couple's other two adopted children from the home. On Friday, a judge also ordered the mother's older daughter, Jennifer Perez, to have no contact with her own six year old daughter. Perez's daughter, who frequently stayed at the Barahona home, is believed to have told a therapist of abuse taking place there.

"This is a horrific situation," said Wilkins, "and I wish I could answer that question about how it could happen."

Wilkins said the DCF is putting together a review team to look for answers, adding the agency will be "fully transparent" with what they find.

"I also commit to you my personal involvement to learn all the facts and provide you with responsive and corrective actions," he said.

The DCF has not outlined what those corrective actions will be. The agency's new review team is expected to begin work next week.

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