Nearly a year after the body of 10-year-old Nubia Barahona was discovered inside her adoptive father’s truck next to her badly injured brother, prosecutors released new evidence Monday that sheds light on what the siblings endured.
In an interview she gave to authorities last June, Katia Garcia, the caretaker of Nubia Barahona’s twin brother Victor, said that the boy told her that their adoptive father, Jorge Barahona, “used to put a bag over his head and that he used to choke him. And he said there was a couple of times that he was very close to dying."
Jorge Barahona also hogtied the siblings with rope and wire in the bathtub and would douse them with liquids including cold water with ice and a cleaning substance “like Clorox, like Drano,” Garcia said.
Victor Barahona also told her that their only nourishment was bread and liquids. They had milk once a week, Garcia said.
"His father made him eat a cockroach,” she said, while everyone else in the house “would eat Latin food.” The usually plentiful leftovers would be given to their pets, she added.
On Feb. 14, 2011, Nubia Barahona was found in a trash bag in the back of her adoptive father’s pickup truck on I-95 after being beaten to death. Victor was in the front seat, barely alive with chemical burns all over his body.
Their adoptive parents, Jorge and Carmen Barahona, have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and are awaiting trial.
Victor Barahona came to live with Garcia, his state-appointed caretaker, on March 1. He later moved to live with relatives in Texas.
When he talks about his sister now, Garcia said, he stutters, stops, and “cannot complete the sentence.”
“He has nervous twitches with his eyes. He had one with his mouth, where he would open and close his mouth rapidly,” she said.
”He doesn't want to remember,” Garcia added. “He doesn't want to talk about what his sister went through. Or what he saw his sister go through."