3-Year-Old Girl Dies after Being Pulled from Car Fire in Queens; Father in Custody

CBS 2 - May 06, 2019

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A three-year-old girl died after being pulled from a burning car Sunday in Queens.

This morning, police say her father is now in custody.

First responders were called shortly before 9 p.m. to 154th Street and Baisley Boulevard, where they found an Audi sedan engulfed in flames.

“FDNY firefighters extinguished the flames and then discovered an unconscious 3-year-old child in the rear seat,” NYPD Deputy Chief Joseph Gallucci said.

One witness told CBS2 she was inside when she “heard a big bomb.”

“They took the baby out, the baby was badly burned and the baby went to the police car,” said Lisa Silvera. “I feel sad, because I have children of my own.”

Police said Zoey Pereria, 3, was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital but did not survive. Her 39-year-old father was seen running from the fiery car into a pond.

“After they brought the little girl out of the car, we started telling them that there’s somebody that got caught on fire that might need help, that they should go into the park,” another witness, Owen Johnson, added.

The 39-year-old man was found with burns all over his body and taken to Jamaica Hospital in serious but stable condition. He is now in custody but has not been charged with a crime.

Meanwhile, investigators could be seen circling the car, where police say a propane tank and two fuel canisters were found nearby.

“I’m curious to see why the gas tank was there with a child in the car. It’s unfortunate the child died. It’s unfortunate, it makes me very sad,” Silvera said.

Sources tell CBS2 investigators are looking into whether there was a custody dispute between the little girl’s parents.