Metro file

A 3-year-old girl’s death from injuries sustained in car fire in Queens, which law enforcement officials reported was chained shut from the inside, has been ruled a homicide. 

Zoey Pereira was found in a burning car on Baisley Boulevard near Rockaway Boulevard in Springfield Gardens at about 8:50 p.m. on Sunday night, according to the New York Daily News.

Reports indicate that the car's back doors were chained shut, and that a propane tank and two canisters of gas were found in the trunk. 

The child was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries. 


FDNY sources told PIX11 that the chains strapped to the car doors gave way due to the heat, and firefighters were able to get the child out. 

Police are currently questioning her father, who was also injured in the blaze. 

Witnesses told police that the 39-year-old Long Island man dove into a nearby pond in order to extinguish flames, which left him with critical injuries. He is reportedly in stable condition. 

While he was taken into police custody, he has not been charged with any crimes. 

“I have my kid in the car,” the dad told a bystander, who called 911. The man and the girl’s mother have a reported history of domestic violence, and do not live together, according to ABC 7. They were allegedly battling over the custody of the girl.

The cause of the child’s death, and the cause of the fire remain under investigation.

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