SPRINGFIELD GARDENS, Queens — The death of a 3-year-old girl trapped in a blazing car has officially been classified as a homicide by the Medical Examiner’s office.
The doors of the silver 2008 Audi sedan were chained shut, police sources said. Zoey Pereira was found in the backseat of the car on Sunday night. Pereira died from smoke inhalation and thermal injuries, according to the ME.
FDNY firefighters found two fuel canisters and a propane tank at the scene.
Police took a 39-year-old Valley Stream man into custody after the deadly blaze, but he has not yet been charged. He was badly burned and it still hospitalized.
Officials identified the man as Pereira’s father, but they have not yet released his name. He is not married to Pereira’s mother, but was in the midst of a bitter custody battle with her, sources said.
Pereira lived with her mother in Rochdale, Queens, sources said.