DAVIE, Fla. - The motive behind the tragic Thursday morning murder-suicide of a father and his 6-year-old daughter appears to be a classic case of "spousal revenge," the horrific act of sacrificing a child's life to inflict everlasting hurt upon an ex, experts say.
"In spousal revenge cases, in general, the statement is that they want the spouse, the ex, to feel badly, to feel guilty, to feel loss," said Sara West, a forensic psychiatrist and assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University's department of psychiatry in Cleveland. "This seems like a pretty clear case of that."
Paul Andrade, his daughter Amira and a dog were found dead early Thursday inside a Nissan Quest minivan outside the Davie Corral apartments at Stirling Road and Davie Road Extension, where the girl's mother, Vicky Paredes, lived.
Andrade, 30, of Hollywood, and Paredes had broken up about a year ago and she had recently remarried. "The father was upset over that," Davie Police Capt. Dale Engle said.
The neighborhood awoke to the desperate screams of a mother clutching her dead daughter in her arms.
"I just heard screaming at 6:30 in the morning. She was crying for help," said a neighbor, who preferred not to be identified. "You could hear the hurt; you could just feel her pain."
The deaths appear to have been caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.
Two youngsters walking to school notified neighbors after seeing an aluminum hose running from the exhaust pipe of the silver and blue minivan into one of its rear windows.
When police arrived, Engle said, they saw the distraught mother rocking her daughter in her arms. First responders attempted to revive the girl, Engle said, but it was too late.
According to Engle, the father had regular visitations with his daughter. He had one such visit Wednesday night.
Andrade's body, covered in a white sheet, was removed from the minivan at about 10 a.m. and placed into a coroner's van. Soon after, Paredes, conscious and clutching a stuffed animal, was taken by stretcher into an ambulance.
Nearly a dozen of her co-workers from Broward Research Group, a Pembroke Pines clinical research facility, dressed in pink and lavender hospital scrubs, huddled nearby, some holding their tear-streaked faces in their hands.
The last to come and go was an animal control van. The dead dog was taken away in a black plastic trash bag.
"Almost 15 percent of all persons arrested for homicide are parents killing their children, so it's not an uncommon phenomenon," said Phillip Resnick, a professor of psychiatry and an expert on "filial" killings, also from Case Western Reserve University.
Parents who commit "filicide," or kill their own children, are divided into five categories, Resnick said. They are:
Altruistic filicide, resulting from the belief that a child is better off dead than alive;
Unwanted-child filicide, where the child is perceived to be in the way, often committed by young mothers who discard their newborns;
Psychotic killing in a confused or delirious state with no comprehensible motive;
Fatal abuse, the most common type of child killing, is battery taken too far;
And spousal revenge, accounting for about 4 percent of child murders, is the least common of the five.
"I've killed the children, so you will suffer as much as you made me suffer, that would be the classic spouse revenge," Resnick said. "It is kind of the ultimate revenge."
Anna Vivieca, Andrade's landlord in the 5700 block of Taft Street, said she never would have expected such a brutal statement from her tenant, a mild-mannered, friendly ice cream truck driver.
"He was a really nice person. He never gave us any indication that he was sick or had depression or anything like that," Vivieca said. "Vicky is a wonderful person also. They were really good people. I can't say anything bad about them."
Vivieca described Andrade's daughter, who frequently played with her own sons, ages 3 and 5, as a "beautiful" and "talkative" child.
"I knew they had their ups and downs, and she moved out, and he continued living here," Vivieca said. "I'm shocked. It's kind of hard to hear of this tragedy. It's kind of overwhelming."
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