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A 12-year-old girl in Florida survived an attack from her father by playing dead after he killed her 3-year-old sister.
The father, 39-year-old Juan Bravo-Torres, is facing first-degree premeditated murder and attempted murder charges after police say he stabbed his 3-year-old daughter to death and attacked his 12-year-old daughter early on Thursday morning.
According to the arrest affidavit obtained by Fox 35 Orlando, the 12-year-old victim was asleep when she was awakened by her father, Bravo-Torres, reaching for her throat. The girl thought Bravo-Torres, was reaching for her necklace, but grabbed and cut her throat.
When Bravo-Torres went to get another knife, the girl attempted to escape the bedroom and saw her 3-year-old sister lying dead in the hallway.
According to the affidavit, when Bravo-Torres returned, the girl fought back and eventually “acted dead,” in the hopes Bravo-Torres would stop attacking her.
Police said the father then dragged the 12-year-old and her little sister into the bathroom, where he slit his own wrists and she “heard what sounded like he was cutting his throat.”
The girl then laid still until she thought her dad lost consciousness, grabbed the knife he used in the attack to protect herself, and walked nearly a mile to a nearby McDonald’s where her mother worked.
At McDonald’s the girl told her mother what happened, and Lakeland police were alerted.
“At that age, to be sleeping and woken up by being attacked with a knife, seeing your younger sister in the condition she was in, fighting off your father, and having the mindset to think, ‘How am I going to get out of this?’ When he lost consciousness, she got out of the house, and she went to where she knew her mom was, and it’s just remarkable,” Longwood police Sgt. Derek Chenoweth said in a press conference. “Grown adults may not have been able to come to that decision, and this 12-year-old did that, and she’s alive today because of the choices that she made.”
When police arrived at 5:40 a.m., they found Bravos-Torres critically injured and the 3-year-old girl dead.
The girl and Bravo-Torres were then rushed to the hospital. Bravo-Torres is under arrest and is being held at the John E. Polk Correctional Facility.
Longwood Police Department officers placed flowers and balloons at the memorial site where the 3-year-old was killed.