A 3-year-old child died after being trapped in a burning car. Her father was taken into custodyPosted: Updated:
New York City firefighters were in the process of extinguishing a car fire Sunday night when they discovered someone alone inside -- a 3-year-old child.
Police and firefighters responded to a 911 report of a vehicle on fire just before 9 p.m. The car was parked in a residential Queens neighborhood, just minutes away from John F. Kennedy International Airport. While fighting the flames, firefighters got the toddler, Zoey Pereira, out of the burning vehicle, but the child died of her injuries at Jamaica Hospital in Queens. The New York City Medical Examiner will determine the official cause of death, according to NYPD Detective Annette Shelton.
The girl's biological father, Martin Pereira, was discovered a short distance away, in a nearby pond attempting to put out flames on his body, a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation tells CNN.
Police took the 39-year-old man into custody and emergency responders took him to an area hospital in serious but stable condition. Although he suffered burns all over his body, he is expected to survive, according to the law enforcement source.
The father and the child's mother were in the midst of a custody battle, according to the law enforcement source. Both had filed domestic incident reports against the other person, the source said.
No charges have yet been filed, according to the Queens County district attorney's Office.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. Fire marshals and the NYPD continue to investigate, an FDNY spokesman told CNN Monday.