Credit: Facebook

The Horrifying Case of 3-Year-Old Burned Alive in A Locked Car

by | May 21, 2019

In an absolutely horrific case of suspected filicide, Zoey Pereira, only 3-years-old was burned alive in a car with the doors shut with heavy chains. What kind of monster does something like this to a child, let alone, their own child? Apparently, the motives were related to a messy custody battle over Zoey, and there were prior warning signs that he was abusive. Continue below to learn more about this heart-wrenching story.

3-Year-Old Burned Alive in a Locked Car
Zoey Pereira, 3-Year-Old Burned Alive in A Locked Car
Credit: Facebook

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3-Year-Old Burned Alive in a Locked Car

Cherone Coleman, the 36-year-old mother of Zoey Pereira, made a statement this past Monday on the horror story that befell her family. In the midst of a very difficult custody battle, Coleman and the father of Zoey, Martin Pereira, were at odds with each other. Coleman motioned to the court for a modification to their previous visitation agreement, as reported by New York Daily News. Coleman claimed Pereira was becoming “increasingly vindictive” as the reason for requesting revocation of his visitation rights. However, the court ruled in favor of Pereira and allowed him weekend rights.

“My daughter was perfect. She was loving, always smiling, and oh so caring. She was my only child, and I can’t have any more”.

Cherone Coleman

During only the second time he was allowed to watch Zoey since his and Coleman’s split, the tragic incident happened. Apparently, just before committing this despicable crime in Queens, New York, Pereira told Coleman, “You’ll never see your daughter again,” before burning their daughter alive in the backseat of an Audi A6 with the doors chained shut, making escape impossible. Pereira was found a few hundred feet away from the scene and was taken into custody by the police.

Although Coleman never imagined something like this could happen, she recalled Pereira showed signs of being abusive. Coleman said, “I always thought he was going to hurt me. I never thought he was going to hurt my daughter,”

Pereira is suffering from second and third-degree burns which he had sustained from his horrific act. Nearly two weeks after the incident, he has been charged with murder, arson and reckless endangerment, as reported by CNN.

Unfortunately, this awful act is not an isolated incident. There are uncountable numbers of individuals – men, women, and children, who are suffering from abuse that ends up being fatal. If you or someone you love are experiencing domestic violence, please reach out for help.

What are the warning signs of an abusive partner?

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It can be very difficult to come to terms with recognizing that a family member is an abuser. Whether they are emotionally or physically abusive, domestic violence should never be taken lightly.

Domestic abuse at the hands of a partner is one category of domestic abuse and according to NCADV, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have suffered severe physical abuse at the hands of a partner. When children are part of the mix, the statistics become even more heart-wrenching. In the same statistics report by NCADV, 1 in 15 children are exposed to domestic violence yearly. If you fear that you or someone you love are victims of domestic abuse, here are just a few signs that you should look out for.

  • The individual feels afraid of their partner (mentions consequences for doing something their partner doesn’t like, feels distressed when it comes to their partner’s expectations)
  • The individual has physical marks (bruises, burns, cuts, broken bones) that they dismiss as being “nothing”
  • Individual’s partner has an unpredictable temper, is obsessively possessive, puts others down, has been physically violent in the past
  • The individual has even forced to cut ties with families and/or friends as per the demands of their partner

These are NOT all of the warning signs of someone being a domestic abuse situation, but only a short list of common signs to help you recognize if you or a loved one are in trouble.

For those within the USA, you can contact the National Domestic Hotline at

1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

If you are deaf and need assistance, help is available Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PST) by videophone (855-812-1001), instant messenger (DeafHotline) or email ([email protected]).

How have you talked about the warning signs of abusive behavior with your loved ones? Let me know in the comments below.

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Gabriella Anaya

News Editor | Limoges, France | [email protected]



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