Martin Pereira and his 3-year-old daughter Zoey who he allegedly trapped in a car and set alight in a bitter custody dispute. Picture: Facebook
Martin Pereira and his 3-year-old daughter Zoey who he allegedly trapped in a car and set alight in a bitter custody dispute. Picture: Facebook

Dad burned daughter alive in car

The dad who allegedly left his 3-year-old daughter to burn alive in a chained-shut car earlier this month has been arrested on murder charges, police said on Friday.

According to the New York Post, Martin Pereira, 39, of Valley Stream, Long Island, was also charged with arson and reckless endangerment for the horrific May 5 incident in the borough of Queens, in New York City, that left little Zoey Pereira dead, police have said.

First responders pulled Zoey's charred body from a flaming Audi A6 that was doused with gasoline and parked in the suburbs of Springfield Gardens.

Pereira - who was locked in a bitter custody dispute with Zoey's mother, Cherone Coleman - had allegedly threatened to hurt the child before he left the girl to burn, family previously told The Post.

The twisted dad suffered second- and third-degree burns to 70 per cent of his body as a result of the fatal incident and had been sedated at Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Pereira was hospitalised and in "bad shape" in the burn unit of Weill Cornell Medical Center following the horrific incident that left Zoey Pereira dead, a high-ranking police source said.

Another source said Pereira was medically sedated.

This story first appeared in the New York Post and is republished with permission.


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