Dad Accused of Burning Daughter Alive In Locked Car: Facts You Need To Know

(Photo credit: Martin Piereira facebook)

Martin Pereira is the Valley Stream, New York man accused of locking his three-year-old daughter into a car and then setting it on fire. The beautiful little girl, Zoey, was burned to death inside of his 2008 Audi on the night of Sunday, May 5. A passerby alerted police to the car, which was parked at 155th Street and Baisley Boulevard in Queens, New York. The New York Post reports that the car had been doused in gasoline and that there was a propane tank in the back seat, feeding more fuel to the fire, literally. The car doors were locked and there were chains on the door. Pereira has been taken into custody and is being treated as the “prime suspect” in Zoey’s murder, although he has not been charged yet.

Pereira’s ex, Cherone Coleman, says she and Martin were locked in a bitter custody dispute and that he hurt their daughter as a way of hurting her. Here’s what we know so far about Martin Pereira and the case:

Pereira, 39, also suffered burns suffered burns as well. But, as the fire burned, first-responders pulled Zoey from the car and performed CPR before they took her to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center where she died from severe burns, police said.

Many now question as to if Pereira had mental issues before this encounter or if he was that distraught and enraged to do something like this.

According to, Coleman told reporters that Pereira took Zoey on Saturday, March 4. Almost immediately, he started calling her. When she didn’t pick up the phone, he called her relatives. On Sunday night, she says, he finally reached her on the phone. That’s when, she says, he asked her, “Do I have your attention now, b****? I got your attention now, b****. You’re never going to see your daughter again.”

(Photo credit: Martin Piereira facebook)

On the morning of Sunday, May 5, Martin Pereira posted a photo of his daughter on Facebook. The photo shows little Zoey with freshly styled hair in what looks like a salon; she’s sitting in a salon chair with a bunch of balloons behind her. That was the same day that Martin called his ex that evening and told her that she’d never see her daughter again.

Coleman says that on Saturday, after Pereira started his weekend visit with little Zoey, he brought Zoey to Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park. Pereira told hospital staff that Coleman was abusing their daughter,…