Crisis In The Family Courts

Before Amador tragedy, daughter told of sex abuse by dad

Posted in Uncategorized by abatteredmother on February 28, 2009

Before Amador tragedy, daughter told of sex abuse by dad

South Dade dad kills wife, two teen daughters and himself; son escapes

A former tenor with the Greater Miami Opera chorus shot and killed his wife and two daughters Wednesday morning as his 16-year-old son fled their South Miami-Dade home, Miami-Dade police said.

 

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South Dade dad kills wife, two teen daughters and himself; son escapes

A former tenor with the Greater Miami Opera chorus shot and killed his wife and two daughters Wednesday morning as his 16-year-old son fled their South Miami-Dade home, Miami-Dade police said.

 

BY JENNIFER LEBOVICH
jlebovich@MiamiHerald.com

A few weeks before Pablo Josue Amador shot and killed his wife and two daughters before taking his own life, 14-year-old Priscila Amador told two classmates her father had molested her since she was in elementary school.

One student advised her mother of the allegation and then told reporters about it outside the Amador home in Perrine on Wednesday, hours after the killings. The other classmate alerted her father, who told The Miami Herald on Thursday that Priscila had given a ”desperate” letter to his daughter before her death.

The father, who said he was ”shocked” when he read the letter, asked not to be named to protect his daughter’s identity. He said police came to his house after the killings and took the letter.

Police say Amador, 54, shot and killed his wife, Maria Joy, 47, and daughters, Rosa, 13, and Priscila, shortly before 6 a.m. Wednesday inside their Palmetto Country Club Estates home. Son Javier called 911 and fled, unharmed. Bea, the eldest child, was not home.

The deaths rattled neighbors and classmates at Southwood Middle School, where a 2004 murder shocked students and staff. Eighth-grader Jaime Gough was stabbed to death in a bathroom of the Palmetto Bay magnet school by his friend Michael Hernandez, then 14.

Thursday, students brought flowers, teddy bears and cards for a makeshift memorial on the Amadors’ lawn as the abuse allegations began to surface.

Marcela Cojulun, 14, a close friend and classmate at Southwood, said Wednesday that Priscila had recently told her that her dad had molested her for years, since she was between 6 and 8 years old.

”She was telling me . . . throughout her life her dad would sexually abuse her. She was done with it and she didn’t want to live,” Marcela said.

Marcela said she told her mother what Priscila had said about the molestation. Marcela’s mother, Gloria Cano, told reporters Marcela advised her of the allegations about a month ago and that she wishes now she had acted.

”I really regret it,” Cano said.

“I don’t know if I was the only adult. I don’t know if this would have stopped. I don’t have words.”

It’s unclear if Priscila had told anyone else about the allegations, Marcela said.

UPSET AT SCHOOL

The father of the second classmate said his daughter told him about the allegations about two weeks ago, and that Priscila had been upset in school.

”When I read the letter she wrote she was a desperate person,” the father said.

Marcela said Priscila had been ”emotionless” the past few days at school and asked her friend ”to pray for her.” Marcela said she encouraged Priscila to speak with someone about the abuse.

”I tried to be as positive as I could with her,” Marcela said. “I told her I loved her and to stay strong. I said she had to talk to somebody about this. She said she was too chicken to talk to her mom about it.”

She also said that Priscila had become so despondent that she had recently cut herself in two places.

”She couldn’t take any more, being sexually abused,” Marcela said.

Priscila recently wrote a post on MySpace.com that suggested she was experiencing personal problems but did not mention molestation.

”I have gone through so much and yet I still try to stand tall, because this whole world is coming down on me, and me blocking it hurts more and more,” she wrote. “That’s why I don’t care anymore.”

Miami-Dade police would not talk about the abuse allegation Thursday, but they said they are looking at all possible motives.

”We will follow up on [the molestation claim] like any other possible lead until we are able to come to the conclusion as to what caused this individual to commit such violent acts,” said Detective Alvaro Zabaleta, a Miami-Dade police spokesman.

Officials from the state Department of Children and Families said records show the agency had no prior contact with the family.

The Rev. Brian Carr, pastor at Perrine-Peters United Methodist Church, where the family attended weekly services, said he was unaware of any molestation allegations.

”I had no inkling that anything was wrong. I don’t want to get into it. I know nothing about any of this,” he said.

The surviving Amador children — Javier, 16, and Bea, 20, a University of Miami student — were unable to be reached for comment.

SCHOOL’S DEJA VU

The Hernandez incident five years ago lingered in the minds of Southwood’s teachers and administrators as they processed the news of Wednesday’s killings.

”Even though this didn’t happen at the school, this was an extension of who we were,” said Justin Koren, one of Javier Amador’s language arts teachers. “Once that happened, we’re no longer teaching English. We were teaching life.”

Koren joined the school a year after Jamie’s murder and eventually wrote a play inspired by the incident about how a school copes with shattering tragedy.

Priscila’s and Rosa’s friends were dismissed from class Wednesday to deal with their grief. Crisis counselors have been deployed to the school and are expected to be there Friday as well.

”The day after is almost worse,” Koren said. “You have shock on day one and the reality sets in on day two. We just have to be here together.”

Miami Herald staff writers Patricia Mazzei and David Ovalle contributed to this report.

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Comments: 80     Showing: Oldest first Newest first Most-recommended first Least-recommended first

  • oldbeat777 wrote on 02/28/2009 01:18:59 AM:

    When I first heard this story, I assumed the family might have suffered a tremendous financial setback due to the economic situation. But learning of alleged molestation of the daughter by the father, makes this case more heartwrenching. This is what I have to say to ‘any child being abused’ by your parents or anyone:
    When you’re home alone, especially at night and it’s dark in your room, get down by your bed and say a prayer; and God will keep you in His care. When the door squeaks open and a strange dark shadow’s on the corridor wall, hurry flick on the light and stand tall. Though you may feel nervous and scared, scream as loud as you can, to ward off the evil and treacherous man. If the callous person still advances and violate your space, just stare them in the face, and let them know, to the police you will go!!!!!
    God please protect our children. Give them the courage to report abuse to a teacher, adult relative, and police.
    With deepest sympathy.

  • ShesmySarah wrote on 02/27/2009 09:08:39 PM:

    Ultimately, the father is responsible for this tragedy. He made the choice to murder his family. However, those people who had any inkling that something horrible was happening to those children had a responsibility to make it known to authorities if not the school district. Maybe this could’ve been prevented.

  • american4 wrote on 02/27/2009 08:52:34 PM:

    Both parents that knew made poor judgement by not reporting it immediately. This is a wakeup call, always get involved when children are in trouble. But dont blame them, it was the father who did this. They are only at fault for poor judgement and have to live with this. My prayers are with these two parents to forgive yourself. And to teach us to always speak out even if it turns out not true. And to the two surviving siblings. There is alot of people praying for you. God bless us all.

  • TeresaL wrote on 02/27/2009 08:28:21 PM:

    Jezebel, with all due respect, your grabbin at straws. I think you are confused regarding the meaning of hearsay. This is not about hearsay. The mother of one of th girls went on record with the reporter and said her daughter told her. The mother did not report the comments to the proper authorities. It was not for her to decide if the comments were true or false, she had to tell the authorities, so they could make that call. The father of the other child said there was a letter. The article reports that the police took the letter. It is up to the police to invesitgate the authenticity of the letter. The point of the article is not whether she was abused or not. The point is that two parents admitted on the record that they had prior knowledge and that neither parent did anything to report it. The two parents made comments directly to the reporter. Those comments did not pass through the grapevine. I’m sorry but you are wrong. Now the police will do their jobs.

  • monafea123 wrote on 02/27/2009 07:39:48 PM:

    If this man had nothing to hide why would he kill very body . I’m sure the girl told her mother and her mother confronted the father maybe she told him she will take the girl to the doctor to see if it was true and if it was she will put him in jail and he got scare of the truth coming out and the shame that his mask will come off and killed everybody cause he was selfish by doing this to his daughter and he was selfish to be discover and go to jail so he took everybody life for them not to talk . But he did not know his Pricilla had given a letter to a friend and talked about it with friends and the truth came out anyway .

  • Jezebel wrote on 02/27/2009 06:05:59 PM:

    Since when is hearsay not hearsay? The reporter sais, Mrs. Cano words were that her daughter told her that the friend said… If that is not hearsay, then what is!
    Until the police investigators find some proof –or at least say that there is some indication to the possibility– but not even that… there has been nothing except reporters saying that this lady or the other said their daughters said that their schoolfriend victim told them… And then there’s the famous letter, which the police took; do you know what the letter sais?
    Have some faith, people!

  • TeresaL wrote on 02/27/2009 05:19:43 PM:

    Jezebel the fact is that Mrs. Cano says her daughter told her a month ago, and now she really regrets it. Those are Mrs. Cano’s words to the reporter, not hearsay, or rumor. The woman was quoted. I agere, you cannot believe everything the press tells you. But this is a direct quote from the parent. Mrs. Cano might think about finding an attorney. So your point about the media does not apply in this instance.

  • TeresaL wrote on 02/27/2009 04:57:12 PM:

    KatyMay you say that "often these allegations are made to lash out at a parent as a dramatic appeal for attention" and "stop blaming the parents who failed to report". If you know anything about the laws that were made to protect children from abuse, you would know that first and formost is the safety of the child. In the eyes of the law, the childs rights take precedent over all else. Either way you cut it, if she was abused or if she was lying, the child needs help. These two parents failed her and their own children who confided in them miserably, and for that there is no excuse.

  • odalys2004 wrote on 02/27/2009 03:51:24 PM:

    Replying to JfST (02/27/2009 08:39:40 AM):
    "Immigrant your hearts in the right place and i agree, But posters like "odalys2004" will just post and not care if the surviving brother and sister come on here and read things like "This Jerk should have just killed himself and let the rest live.". No matter how good or how bad the man was, he was…":

    oh Im just the only one that wrote something soooooo bad. Please read on you idiot

  • ronedee wrote on 02/27/2009 03:45:15 PM:

    At the very least…these people who knew, should’ve let the school know about the abuse. It’s a sad thing that is happening to our children. And NO ONE wants to get involved!

    THEY ARE JUST AS GUILTY!

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