The husband of a woman found slain along with her two young daughters in their northwest Miami-Dade house has been arrested and charged in their deaths, police said Tuesday.
Alberto Sierra, 28, is facing three counts of first-degree murder, sexual battery on an adult and sexual battery on a minor in the deaths of Gladys Machado and her 4- and 6-year-old daughters, Miami-Dade Police said. He was being held in jail without bond on Tuesday. It was not immediately known if he had an attorney.
Police said he had been living with his mother but on Nov. 10, he apparently tried to go back with his wife Machado. According to an arrest affidavit, Sierra, Machado and the girls went to the Mall of the Americas on Nov. 10 where Sierra and Machado got into an argument.
Sierra armed himself with a knife, and Machado sustained injuries as a result of the argument there, the affidavit said. He then drove Machado and her daughters to a home in the 7300 block of Northwest 4th Street, where he locked the girls in one of the bedrooms and forced Machado into the master bedroom, the affidavit said.
"He and Gladys had gotten into an argument. He produced a knif and forced her to return back to the residence. At the residence he locked the girls in one bedroom and then he locked Gladys and himself in a second bedroom," said Rosanna Cordero-Stutz, spokeswoman of Miami-Dade Police.
Once in the master bedroom, Sierra suffocated Machado with a plastic bag "and subsequently sexually assaulted her," the affidavit said.
Sierra let one of the girls out of the bedroom and suffocated her, the affidavit said. He suffocated the other daughter with a plastic bag while she slept, then sexually assaulted the other daughter, the affidavit said.
The bodies of Machado and her daughters were found three days later in a closet at the home, police said.
On Tuesday evening, people who knew the mother and her daughters said a prayer outside the house they were murdered inside of.
The girls' grandfather Leonardo Padrino spoke to NBC 6 South Florida about funeral arrangements for the victims.
"Funeral home and cemetery tomorrow," he said.
Meanwhile at the home's doorstep, single mother Melissa Saavedra said she feared retaliation from somebody connected to Sierra.
Sierra and Machado were married but had no children in common and were not living together when the murders took place, the affidavit said.
Sierra, who had been questioned and released by police last week, had been brought in for questioning again Monday night.
He gave a full confession of his involvement in the three homicides, the affidavit said.
Sierra has an extensive criminal history, which includes drug charges and assault with a deadly weapon.
According to court records Machado divorced the father of her three children, who included the two girls that died and a 6-year-old boy who police said was found alive elsewhere.
The girls' father was too distraught to speak to NBC 6. Last year he requested custody of his children after an incident where Sierra allegedly bit the older daughter. The petition was denied.