JAMAICA, Queens — A Queens mom whose 3-year-old daughter was burned to dying by her ex-fiance’ two years in the past shared her story on tv for the primary time, hoping to impact change within the Household Court docket system.
“Everybody went on with their life,” Cherone Coleman advised PIX11, from inside her Jamaica condominium, the place she was surrounded by reminders of her solely little one, Zoey Autumn Pereira.
Coleman, who referred to as her daughter by her center identify, stated the decide within the case was nonetheless working and that legal guidelines wanted to be modified.
“My daughter’s story must be advised,” Coleman stated. “And she or he wants a voice.”
The story of how the toddler’s life ended is horrific.
On Sunday, Could 5, 2019, the woman’s father–Martin Anthony Pereira–was ending up his second, unsupervised go to together with his daughter, an association Coleman had tried to switch in a dialog with the Household Court docket decide in Queens.
“I advised her about him stalking me,” Coleman remembered. “I advised her about me coming outdoors and he’s parked proper subsequent to my automobile. He even scratched my automobile from the again trunk to the entrance fender.”
However Pereira was allowed to take his daughter for a second, weekend go to on Friday, Could 3, 2019. The go to ended with Pereira Facetiming the mother from his automobile close to Baisley Pond Park in Springfield Gardens on Sunday.
“And when he calls me, on video chat, I see a video of my daughter burning within the f–king background,” Coleman advised PIX11 via tears, the unbelievable situation nonetheless recent in her thoughts. “Burning within the background,” she added. “I noticed that.”
The connection between Coleman and Tony Pereira, as he was identified, had began out properly in 2014.
Coleman, a long-time medical assistant, met Pereira, a development employee from Guyana, close to her job.
“He was actually sort,” Coleman recalled. “If I wanted groceries, he’d take me purchasing. Positively good firm, good dialog.”
Coleman stated regardless that she was on contraception, she obtained pregnant pretty quickly with Pereira’s little one, however miscarried. Then, in 2015, she conceived Autumn, and was later traumatized when she misplaced her father–a Marine who had served in Vietnam–on the day of her child bathe.
On March 16, 2016, Coleman’s daughter was born given the formal identify Zoey Autumn Pereira. Coleman had developed coronary heart bother throughout the being pregnant, however she rallied again to raised well being.
The grieving mom advised PIX11 she was upset when she came upon Pereira’s niece had picked out the toddler’s first identify. She all the time referred to as her little woman Autumn.
“She went to high school, she flourished, she knew the times of the week,” stated Coleman, who advised PIX11 her daughter had turned 3 in March 2019. “Very impartial, very sensible, knew how one can rely as much as 13.”
But whereas the toddler was creating properly, Coleman’s relationship with Pereira was failing. Coleman complained he spent an excessive amount of time at his household’s residence in Valley Stream, the place he had contributed in direction of the mortgage.
“He needed me to maneuver into their home,” Coleman stated. “We’d haven’t any privateness.”
Coleman stated Pereira began yelling at her, claiming she was bringing their daughter round dangerous influences.
“He would accuse me of letting individuals smoke weed in entrance of her, issues like that,” Coleman stated. “No one’s smoking weed in entrance of my daughter.”
That’s when Coleman determined to interrupt up together with her fiance’ in late March 2019, and she or he recalled Pereira was enraged.
“”I’m going to be sure to don’t see your daughter anymore,’” she stated Pereira threatened.
The case moved to Household Court docket, together with 50,000 different custody and visitation instances in New York Metropolis that 12 months.
“He would name ACS [Administration for Children’s Services] saying I used to be ingesting, that I used to be doing medication in entrance of her,” Coleman recalled. “I handed the drug exams as a result of I’m not on medication.”
Coleman requested or custody and for Pereira to have visitation.
“I believed that he was mainly a superb dad,” she stated.
But Coleman was troubled that Pereira tried to maneuver the proceedings to Nassau County, the place he was staying together with his household. The Nassau decide wouldn’t allow it. The Queens decide granted Pereira unsupervised visitation each different weekend in April 2019.
The ultimate weekend Pereira spent together with his daughter had a nasty begin. Coleman stated she braided the little woman’s hair, as a result of the kid had come residence unkempt after the primary go to.
“And one in every of his members of the family took an image of him taking her hair out, and he despatched it to me” Coleman recounted.
Coleman stated she was at her native salon the subsequent day, when she heard her daughter’s cries.
“I open my eyes and see them making an attempt to scrub her hair. She’s crying and scared. So I walked over to her, and he picks her up and he’s like, ‘Get away from her,’” she remembered. “I couldn’t do something, as a result of if I react, I’m going to lose custody.”
Coleman left the salon.
“They minimize my daughter’s hair, straightened my daughter’s hair, had her trying like a grown woman,” she stated.
Quickly after, Coleman stated Pereira referred to as her and stated the kid was having belly pains and accused the mother of punching their daughter within the abdomen. He took the little woman to Cohen Youngsters’s Hospital in New Hyde Park and Coleman met him there, remembering the kid needed to sit down on her lap.
“He was very jealous of me and my daughter’s relationship,” Coleman stated. “That was tremendous clear.”
The couple got here to blows within the emergency room, however Pereira was allowed to take the toddler again to his household residence for the remainder of the weekend.
Then, on Sunday, Could 5, Coleman recalled Pereira repeatedly tried to name her, prematurely of their first little one help listening to on Monday. Coleman didn’t wish to speak on the cellphone.
However then, she obtained a troubling name.
“I get a name from my cousin in California,” Coleman remembered. “He stated he [Pereira] was going to kill her and he’s going to kill himself.”
Coleman summoned the police to her home and obtained the horrendous video chat name.
“I’m like, ‘I feel he’s burning her, there’s a hearth,’” Coleman remembered.
Coleman was taken by police to a Queens hospital.
“And the detective is available in and he’s like ‘I’m actually sorry about your daughter….your daughter handed away,” the mother recalled.
Struggling to maintain her composure via tears, Coleman’s mouth shook as she remembered that day.
“After he set himself on hearth, he jumped out of the automobile and tried to run into the pond,” she stated. “Left my daughter burning within the f–king automobile.”
Pereira was charged together with his daughter’s homicide within the hospital, with burns over 60 p.c of his physique. He died 9 months later.
“I needed to see how he regarded,” Coleman stated. “And I can’t even offer you an actual motive why.”
Coleman stated a medical social employee from Brooklyn, Emma Hare, reached out to her after her daughter’s tragedy and provided to counsel her without cost for a full 12 months. She accepted the supply.
She was comforted by the soccer crew at August Martin Excessive Faculty, which honored her daughter.
“They devoted their entire season to her,” Coleman advised PIX11. “And all of their jerseys had Autumn’s identify on the again.”
Visiting Coleman in her condominium, we observed all of the tributes to her daughter that surrounded her in the lounge: autumn leaves body a gorgeous picture of the little woman on the espresso desk; there’s an angel statue subsequent to a portrait of Coleman’s daughter and a candle burns close to a stunning poster of Autumn Pereira that’s near the woman’s child image.
The mother additionally had Autumn’s identify tattooed on her again with the leaves of fall. There’s one other tattoo on her arm, and one on her neck.
“It’s an autumn leaf, together with her bending, blowing bubbles,” Coleman stated, exhibiting us the kid’s beginning date tattooed on the nape of her neck.
Coleman retains the entrance web page headline from the New York Put up referred to as “Monster Dad” amongst her belongings.
She additionally has the Household Court docket ‘Order of Safety’ and the request for modification of the custody association.
“I attempted to sue town,” Coleman advised PIX11, “and so they advised me I couldn’t.”
Coleman is now in touch with one other mother who misplaced her younger daughter to violence, Jacqueline Franchetti, who’s working to vary Household Court docket legislation on the coaching of forensic evaluators who make custody selections.
“Jacqueline, to me, is sort of a motivating power,” Coleman stated.
It was Franchetti who inspired Coleman to share her story with PIX11–and the enjoyment she obtained from her little woman, who was “so loving to me. She simply made me really feel so glad.”
Coleman additionally shared the final cellular phone video she took of her daughter: all dressed up, together with her hair braided, leaving her Jamaica constructing to fulfill her father for the final go to.
The ultimate picture is Autumn Pereira turning again to her mom and blowing a kiss.
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