Girl, 5, drowned on Thursday night in North Jacksonville, Florida, after being kidnapped by her mother who crashed into a pond while trying to flee from police
Pamela Tereza Cabrera was arrested t the scene after leading police on a 30-mile chase that ended with her vehicle crashing into a retention pond
Her family revealed there had been an altercation at the family home, before Cabrera abducted the child from her guardian of two years and fled
Cabrera, 32, who has suffered from schizophrenia and B
bipolar disorder for quite sometime, lost custody of the child two years ago, as she battled schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
Officers pulled Cabrera out of the water and arrested her, but were unable to locate her daughter, Vanity
A dive team eventually found five-year-old Vanity dead at the bottom of the pond
Cabrera faces several charges including fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, vehicular homicide, and multiple counts of battery
A five-year-old Florida girl died after her mother kidnapped her and led police on a high-speed chase that ended with her vehicle crashing into a retention pond.
Pamela Tereza Cabrera, 32, led police on a 30-mile chase through North Jacksonville on Thursday night, reaching speeds of 90 mph, before she crashed her vehicle into the pond as she tried to exit the interstate highway.
Officers pulled Cabrera out of the water, but were unable locate her daughter, Vanity, WJAX reported. A dive team eventually found the five-year-old child dead at the bottom of the pond.
Cabrera was arrested on several charges, including fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, vehicular homicide and multiple counts of battery.
She lost custody of Vanity in 2020 as she battled schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
She was expected in court on Friday but did not show up due to ‘disruptive behavior.’
Officials say she is currently undergoing a mental health evaluation at the Jacksonville Jail and is expected in court for arraignment on April 21.
Jacksonville Sheriff’s officers began pursuing Cabrera after receiving a call about an in-progress kidnapping.
The chase began after an officer attempted to approach Cabrera’s vehicle at a traffic light, prompting her to flee.
Police followed Cabrera, who was allegedly armed with a knife, along Interstate 95 for approximately 30 miles until she drove off the exit ramp and into the pond.
The chasing cops exited their vehicles and rushed into the water, where Cabrera was taken into custody.
Officers pulled Cabrera, who suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, out of the water but were unable locate Vanity.
Despite their efforts, police were unable to locate Vanity until it was too late, when a dive team eventually found the five-year-old dead at the bottom of the pond.
The little girl’s cause of death has not been released.
Cabrera’s family told police there had been an altercation at their Shore Rush Trail home before the abduction.
Her cousin, who has served as Vanity’s guardian for the last two years, said that Cabrera has suffered from mental health issues for quite some time.
‘Pamela wasn’t a bad person. She just needs help and she didn’t get the help she needed from the government. She wasn’t a bad person,’ Solange Slaquer told the news outlet.
‘We tried to look for help plenty times and we called police plenty times to help her, we took her to psychologist and Pamela just needed help.’
Slaquer claims that despite Cabrera’s efforts, her cousin’s mental health battle was like a rollercoaster with many ups and downs.
She claimed that Cabrera’s struggles recently worsened after she got pregnant and ceased taking her medication.
‘Even when she was admitted to a mental health hospital and she was taking medications, everything got worse now when she got pregnant again and she wasn’t taking the medication,’ she said. *****
Cabrera was arrested on several charges including including fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, vehicular homicide, and multiple counts of battery
According to an affidavit obtained by First Coast News, when Cabrera would take her medication she was ‘normal and functioning,’ with relatives alleging she would act like herself and was ‘able to think clearly’.
However, when she was off her meds she would often lose track of time and go without sleep.
She lost custody of Vanity after Slaquer took care of the child, then 4, for an entire month while Cabrera was unwell.
DCFS had required Cabrera to complete behavioral classes to receive custody of her child. It is unclear if she ever enrolled in or completed the course.
Cabrera’s mother, Maria Ortiz, who claims her 32-year-old daughter was ‘lost’ without Vanity, was actively seeking help for her daughter and was in the process of obtaining power of attorney over her so she could help Cabrera make decisions when she was ‘not in the right state of mind’.
The family who started a GoFundMe fund raiser for the the child’s funeral, has asked the public withhold their judgement and can instead, ‘pray for us’.