Lawmakers question Department of Children and Families about death of Nubia Barahona

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Emotions were high Tuesday as Florida Senators raised questions about the death of a South Florida girl in foster care and why signs her life was in danger were ignored.

Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins told Senators, breakdowns between investigators and supervisors kept the state from doing more to save the life of 10 year old Nubia Barahona.

She was found in her father Jorge Barahona's truck along I-95 in West Palm Beach.

His adopted ten-year-old daughter's body was found wrapped in a garbage bag in the back, with her twin brother, Victor found in the passenger seat, doused with chemicals, having seizures.

Nubia's foster parents were arrested for her death in February.

Wilkins says the department is open to any changes that would make Florida's foster care system safer. "Obviously when you are talking about kids and tragedy it becomes a very emotional discussion. I understand the committee's emotion on this issue. We've been through the same thing, but we have put together a very aggressive plan to deal with that this session."

Before Nubia died, DCF was warned by her teachers that she was being abused. An investigator visited with Nubia the day before she was killed.

The Senate Children, Family and Elder Affairs Committee is exploring legislation aimed at protecting foster children from abuse.



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