Authorities continued their search Thursday for a missing newborn from South Florida whose father was found dead in an apparent suicide following a triple murder in southwest Miami-Dade.
Pasco County Sheriff's Office officials said they conducted an "exhaustive" search of the area near where 49-year-old Ernesto Caballeiro was found dead Wednesday from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in hopes of finding his newborn son, Andrew Caballeiro.
Officials said there was no evidence found that the baby was with his father in Pasco County. An investigation revealed that Ernesto Caballeiro left Miami-Dade about four and a half hours before arriving in Pasco County, and was only there a matter of minutes before he killed himself, officials said.
Caballeiro's white van was found Wednesday afternoon in a rural area in Blanton not far from Interstate 75. Caballeiro's body was discovered in a wooded area about 50 yards from the van.
Inside the van were old receipts and a baby pacifier but no signs of the baby, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said. Nocco said a woman had been reported to be sitting in the vehicle, but it's now believed the woman may have just stopped to check on the vehicle and wasn't involved in the case.
"The most promising investigative leads to the whereabouts of Baby Andrew remain within Miami Dade County at this time," the sheriff's office said in a statement. "On behalf of the half a million residents of Pasco County, our thoughts and prayers remain with the family of Andrew Caballeiro. We are hopeful for his safe return."
Earlier Wednesday, an Amber Alert had been issued by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for Andrew Caballeiro that listed his father as the abductor. The alert remained in effect Thursday.
The incident unfolded Tuesday, when officers were called to a home in the 21900 block of Southwest 187th Avenue in Redland after a family member discovered the three women dead inside from apparent gunshot wounds. Police later identified the women killed as 40-year-old Arlety Garcia Valdes, 60-year-old Isabela Valdes, and 84-year-old Lina Gonzalez.
Family members said Arlety Garcia Valdes was baby Andrew's mother, Isabela Valdes was her mother, and Gonzalez her grandmother. Ernesto Caballeiro and Arlety Garcia Valdes had and off and on again relationship recently, the family members said.
Records show Caballeiro started a business called Nesty School Services in 2018, and chopper footage showed five yellow school buses in his backyard.
Miami-Dade Police are working with the Pasco Sheriff's Office, the FBI, and FDLE in the investigation.
"Our detectives continue to work tirelessly on this tragic case as we desperately seek any information on the whereabouts of this innocent baby," Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo Ramirez said in a statement.
Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Police or Miami-Dade CrimeStoppers as well as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.