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Father Arrested for Alleged Murder of 2-Year-Old Daughter in Pembroke Pines

New details have emerged following the arrest of 33-year-old Jerónimo Duran in connection with the tragic death of his 2-year-old daughter, Melody Alana Rose Duran, inside their Pembroke Pines home. Duran faces charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and murder while committing another felony, with additional charges pending further investigation.

Incident Overview

On Tuesday, Pembroke Pines Police and Fire Rescue units responded to a home on the 400 block of Southwest 177th Avenue. Upon arrival, they found Melody bleeding from her neck. Despite immediate lifesaving efforts, the toddler was pronounced dead at the hospital.

“It’s a very tragic incident, and our hearts go out to the family of the victim,” stated Pembroke Pines Police Sgt. Jason Palant.

Discovery and Arrest

According to court records, Duran had picked up Melody on Tuesday morning and brought her to the house. A few hours later, Duran’s grandmother, who also lives in the home, arrived and witnessed the horrific scene. She saw Duran on top of Melody and noticed the child was not breathing, prompting her to call 911.

“An ambulance is what I need, fast,” the grandmother told the dispatcher. First responders arrived to find Melody with a neck laceration, and a knife was recovered nearby. Duran was arrested at the scene.

Probable Cause and Investigation

“Detectives were able to establish probable cause to charge him with first-degree murder,” said Palant. “He was questioned by detectives, and his statements helped establish probable cause for his arrest. However, we don’t have a motive at this time.”

Background and Court Records

Court records reveal that Duran and Melody’s mother, Mona Rosita Clarke, are separated after a 10-year relationship. Melody was born in 2021 and would have turned three in November.

A 2023 court filing highlighted concerns about Duran’s mental health, mentioning his “paranoia and anger issues” and history of being Baker Acted at least five times. Clarke described his behavior as “erratic, violent, and dangerous.” The filing also mentioned an incident where Duran chased Clarke into a bedroom with Melody and punched a fan, and another where he abused the family dog.

Clarke had requested a psychological evaluation for Duran, citing his history of “hearing voices to end his life.” Despite these concerns, a parent plan issued in March granted Duran unsupervised visits.

Family Reactions and Support

Family members gathered at Clarke’s Miami Gardens home to support her during this difficult time. Melody’s aunt described the situation as sensitive and noted the family’s longstanding concerns about Duran’s behavior.

“[Mona] is not doing too good right now. I’m just, you know, trying to be a big support for her,” she said.

Ongoing Investigation

Detectives continue their investigation to determine if additional charges should be filed against Duran. “There’s still a lot of things that have to be looked at and uncovered to see if there’s additional charges that should be presented,” said Palant. “At this time, we’re just focusing on being able to provide justice to the family.”

Duran remains in custody at the Broward County Jail and did not appear in court on Wednesday due to a medical reset.

The Pembroke Pines community mourns the loss of young Melody as they await further developments in this heartbreaking case.

 

 

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Patrick Zarrelli

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