The father of a 3-year-old girl who burned to death in the back of his car in Queens allegedly rigged the trunk with a propane tank before setting the blaze, sources said on Monday.
Martin Pereira, 39, chain-locked his daughter Zoey into the vehicle shortly before 9 p.m. Sunday and set the fire inside the car while the tank was leaking into the back seat, according to law enforcement sources.
“What a horrific way to kill a little girl,” a law enforcement source told The Post.
Pereira is a suspect in his daughter’s death, sources said Monday.
Investigators are trying to determine whether Pereira intended to kill himself and botched the attempt, or if the suspect had set himself on fire by mistake.
“If I had a crystal ball I’d say he’s probably going to be charged with murder,” one police source said.
“My thought process is maybe he tried to kill himself and the child and it got to be too much so he ran away. Or he might have accidentally lit himself on fire.”
Pereira was on fire when he fled from the scene and extinguished himself in nearby Baisley Pond.
He was taken to Jamaica Hospital with third-degree burns, sources said
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