The Miami man facing the death penalty in his adopted daughter’s 2011 death now claims that there are tapes out there with recorded conversations between him and his children that are being withheld and could help him in court.
“If I am right about this, someone, he she or they, (are) holding or hiding this evidence with the intention not to let it come forward,”Jorge Barahona wrote in a hand-written letter to the judge presiding over the murder case.
Barahona and his wife, Carmen Barahona, are facing the death penalty for the death of their adopted daughter, Nubia. Her decomposing body was found in his truck bed on Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach in February 2011.
Jorge Barahona is also facing charges of attempted murder and child abuse in Palm Beach County for allegedly trying to kill their other adopted child, a son, Victor. The boy now lives with relatives in Texas.
In the two-page letter dated May 10, Jorge Barahona explains to Circuit Judge William Thomas that two micro-cassettes containing “conversations that I had with my daughter Nubia and my son Victor, (where) we talk about what was going on at home and at school” are being held or hidden.
Barahona said these cassettes were found inside his pickup truck Feb. 14, 2011, the day police found Nubia’s body wrapped in a garbage bag in the bed of Barahona’s red pickup. The truck was found along I-95 between Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard and 45th Street.
Despite listing details about the contents of the cassettes, Barahona does not explain why he thinks the tapes will help him when he faces a jury. The letter is now part of Barahona’s case file.
In the letter, Barahona also claims there are two other cassettes — one recording him leaving a message for Paul Neumann, who was once the children’s Guardian ad Litem, while you can hear the children playing in the background, and the other recording a “typical morning getting ready for school” with twins Nubia and Victor.
Court documents released after Nubia’s death show police found six micro-cassette tapes, but it is not clear if those tapes were found in the truck or at the Barahona’s home in western Miami-Dade County. Police also recovered a cassette tape taped to the outside of an envelope in one of the home’s bedrooms, according to documents.
Nubia’s death prompted significant changes to the state’s child welfare system, including the hiring of additional child abuse investigators and improvements to the Florida Abuse Hotline.