A massive search was underway throughout Florida for a missing baby whose father allegedly killed himself following a triple homicide at a southwest Miami-Dade home.
Ernesto Caballeiro was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in Pasco County Wednesday afternoon, authorities said. His son, little Andrew Caballiero, remained missing.
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco told reporters at a news conference that Caballeiro's white van had been found empty in a rural area in Blanton not far from Interstate 75.
Officers and a K-9 searched the area and found Caballeiro's body in a wooded area about 50 yards from the van. He had a single gunshot wound to the head from a rifle that was believed to be self-inflicted, Nocco said.
Inside the van were old receipts and a baby pacifier but no signs of the baby, Nocco said.
"After we swabbed [the pacifier] for forensics, we did a search, we had the bloodhounds out there searching, the bloodhounds hit nothing, there was no indication that the child was in the area," Nocco said.
Nocco said a person had reported seeing a blonde woman sitting in the vehicle.
"I sit here and pray to God that that is true and that she has the baby," Nocco said. "If that woman is out there, please come forward. I promise you all we care about is that little Andrew is okay."
Authorities also released photos of the van, asking anyone who had seen it since Tuesday to call law enforcement. The van has specific damage and stickers, officials said.
Earlier Wednesday, an Amber Alert had been issued by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for Andrew Caballeiro that said he may be in the company of his 49-year-old father.
The incident unfolded when officers were called to a home in the 21900 block of Southwest 187th Avenue around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday 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.
According to police, the family member told officers that the newborn which should have been at the home was missing. The Amber Alert issued Wednesday morning listed Ernesto Caballeiro as the abductor, but police haven't named him a suspect in the three killings.
"Fearing for his well being we’re asking for assistance in the community to locate him and his newborn infant child," Miami-Dade Police Det. Lee Cowart said at a news conference Tuesday night. "He's not at his residence and we’re attempting to locate him. We need the press and the community’s help and assistance in locating him."
Cowart said Caballeiro lived at the home and is believed to be related to at least one of the women found dead in the home.
Records show Caballeiro started a business called Nesty School Services in 2018, and chopper footage showed five yellow school buses in his backyard.
The father and child were said to possibly be in a white Ford passenger van with Nesty School Services on the side and tag number KUSK23, officials said.
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.