MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – There are no signs that a missing baby boy who was thought to have been abducted by his father after the newborn’s mother and two other relatives were killed was ever in Pasco County this week where his father was found dead, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.
However, Miami-Dade police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta told Local 10 News reporter Madeleine Wright that detectives don’t know where the baby is located, so no one should assume the baby is not in the Pasco County area.
The boy’s father, Ernesto Caballeiro, 49, was found dead Wednesday in Pasco County, a day after three women were found shot to death inside a southwest Miami-Dade County home. Authorities said Caballeiro is believed to have killed the women, although a motive is not yet clear.
Police identified the victims as mother Arlety Garcia Valdes, 40, grandmother Isabela Valdes, 60, and great-grandmother Lina Gonzalez, 84.
Garcia Valdes’ friend, Melchor Izquierdo, said the woman and Caballeiro had a troubled relationship and she was staying at his home this week because her family members were sick and she didn’t want their baby to get sick too.
“They were in the process of terminating the relationship or whatever, and I guess he got really upset or nuts or whatever you want to call it, and this is what happened,” Izquierdo said.
“She was trying to break up with him and that’s why this may have happened?” Wright asked.
"It’s possible,” Izquierdo said.
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said deputies discovered Caballeiro’s body Wednesday in a wooded area. He appeared to have died of a single self-inflicted gunshot wound from a rifle.
He said there was no evidence at the scene that confirmed the baby, Andrew Caballeiro, was ever with his father in Pasco County, although he did confirm that a pacifier was found in the abandoned van.
He said bloodhounds assisted in the search for the baby.
“We just want to see if we can find the baby unharmed,” Izquierdo said.
According to the sheriff, a witness told deputies a blonde woman was spotted in Caballeiro’s van, but authorities said it now appears that the woman may have been someone who just stopped to check on the vehicle after the incident occurred and wasn’t directly involved in the case.
While Pasco County Sheriff’s Office officials say the “most promising investigative leads to the whereabouts of Baby Andrew remain within Miami-Dade County at this time,” they released a map of Caballeiro’s most likely route taken from Miami-Dade to Pasco County.
A GoFundMe page was created to help pay for the family’s funeral costs.
They are urging anyone who was somewhere along the route Tuesday or Wednesday to report any sightings or information to their local police department.
The family has made a plea to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in an attempt to get a special visa for the victims’ son, brother and uncle, so he can leave Cuba and come to Miami for the three funeral services.
They have also set up a GoFundMe page for anyone who wants to help the family pay for funeral costs.