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Aunt, uncle hope for custody of abused boy

MIAMI, March 9 (UPI) -- A 10-year-old Florida girl might still be alive if her aunt and uncle had been allowed to adopt her several years ago, a lawyer said Wednesday.

Steven Grossbard, a lawyer representing Nubia Barahona's aunt and uncle, said after a hearing in Miami that Isidro and Ana Reyes still hope for custody of her twin brother, Victor, The Palm Beach Post reported. The Reyes, who live in Texas, tried to adopt the twins several years ago after the children's biological parents lost custody.

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Nubia's body was discovered Feb. 14 in the back of her adoptive father's pickup truck. Barahona, 54, and his wife, Carmen, 60, were charged Monday with first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and neglect.

Victor Barahona is recovering from chemical burns, officials said. The Barahonas had two other adopted children, the Department of Children and Families filed a motion Wednesday to strip the couple of custody of all three.

Grossbard said Nubia and Victor would have had "a different reality" if the Reyes had become their parents.

Two days before Nubia's body was discovered, a DCF report found "moderate risk" of neglect to the Barahonas' children.

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