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Husband of suspect in 2-year-old girl’s hot car death says it was unintentional tragedy

A Homestead woman remains behind bars Sunday night, charged with manslaughter after leaving a two-year-old child in a hot car for several hours, killing her.
A Homestead woman remains behind bars Sunday night, charged with manslaughter after leaving a two-year-old child in a hot car for several hours, killing her.

MIAMI – A Homestead woman remained behind bars Sunday night, charged with manslaughter after leaving a 2-year-old child in a hot car for several hours, resulting in her death.

The tragedy has raised many questions for both families involved.

On Sunday night, Local 10 News’ Andrea Martinez spoke with the suspect’s partner of 24 years, who said it was all a horrible accident.

According to police, 43-year-old Juana Perez-Domingo allegedly left the toddler locked inside a hot vehicle for several hours on Friday.

“She forgot, or, I don’t know, the only one who knows is her,” said Pedro, Perez-Domingo’s husband who did not want to give his last name. “All she said to me was, ‘Goodbye my love.’”

Pedro said she must have accidentally forgot about the child.

He said Perez-Domingo had only been transporting children for about six months.

“It was a tragedy, it wasn’t intentional,” Pedro said. “We don’t really know what happened. The law here is blaming her, claiming murder, but it wasn’t like that.”

43-year-old Juana Perez-Domingo (Miami-Dade County Corrections)

Friends outside of Perez-Domingo’s home Sunday also said it was an unintentional tragedy.

In court Saturday, a judge granted Perez-Domingo a tougher bond of $50,000 and house arrest, concerned she may be a flight risk.

Meanwhile, the child’s mother still has many questions.

Speaking to Local 10 News on Saturday, she said she wants to know what happened to her daughter, what time she died and why she wasn’t contacted immediately. Police confirmed that the victim’s mother called 911 after Perez-Domingo arrived back to her home.

The mother said she paid Perez-Domingo $40 a week to take her child to daycare.

According to a police report, Perez-Domingo arrived at the victim’s home around 6:30 a.m. Friday to take the toddler to daycare.

Police said the mother noticed the vehicle was not equipped with a car seat, but Perez-Domingo told her she was going a short distance to her home and would put the girl in a car seat after.

According to court documents, Perez-Domingo is said to have no driver’s license, and she didn’t have the child in a car seat at any time Friday.

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About the Author:

A South Florida native, Andrea Martinez joined the Local 10 News team as a reporter in April 2021.