Ernesto Caballeiro, father of abducted Florida newborn kills self, child still missing after discovery of Miami-Dade three female relatives found dead, including boy’s mother.
A Florida father who abducted his newborn son and is suspected of killing three relatives — including the child’s mother — was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.
The body of Ernesto Caballeiro, 49, was found Wednesday just after noon in a heavily wooded area about three miles from Interstate 75 near the town of Blanton, just north of Tampa in Pasco County – Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.
Caballeiro’s body was found near a white Ford van that had been sought by authorities in connection with the disappearance of 1-week-old Andrew Caballeiro, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said during a press conference.
Caballeiro had apparently shot himself with a rifle in a purported suicide. There was no sign of the man’s missing son aside from a pacifier found inside the van, Nocco said.
‘All we care about right now is that we get that baby back,’ the sheriff said. ‘Our best hope right now, and what we’re praying for, is that he handed the baby off to somebody.’
Scramble to find missing one week old newborn baby:
The search for the newborn remained ongoing the Miami Herald reported.
‘A newborn, obviously without parental care, every minute counts,’ said Miami-Dade Detective Christopher Sowerby-Thomas. ‘That’s why we’re reaching out to hospitals, schools and other safe havens.’
The discovery of Caballeiro’s body follows the discovery of three deceased women at a rural home in Miami-Dade County. An Amber Alert was issued early Wednesday for the missing boy.
The three female victims were identified as Andrew’s mother, Arlety Garcia Valdes, 40; grandmother Isabela Valdes, 60; and great-grandmother Lina Gonzalez, 84.
Ernesto Caballeiro was not immediately identified as a suspect in the women’s slayings, but investigators now believe he was responsible for the triple homicide.
State records show that Caballeiro has several arrests in Miami-Dade over the years. In 2004 he was accused of a slew of car thefts and of running a chop shop. Caballeiro wound up pleading guilty and accepting probation on a single charge of grand theft. He was also granted a withhold of adjudication, which meant a criminal conviction did not appear on his record. His probation ended in 2006. He also has previous arrests for aggravated assault and loitering, both cases that were dropped.
While there were no signs of the missing boy in Caballeiro’s van, one witness reported seeing an unidentified blond woman in the vehicle with him.
‘And I sit here and pray to God that is true, and she has the baby,’ Nocco told reporters.
It continued to remain unclear what led up to the father killing his young son’s mother along with two other female relatives – abducting the boy and then killing himself.