Joel Martos Accused of Settting Fire to His Deaf Ex-Girlfriend's and Own Daughter's Hialeah Home
Imagine you're an 11-year-old girl who lives with her deaf mother who is on disability, and while you're on your summer vacation your own father breaks into your home and sets fire to your house, destroying almost all of your possessions, including your mattress and brand new computer. One girl in Hialeah is dealing with the ramifications of such a situation and her father, Joel Martos, is facing arson charges for torching her mother's home.
The girl lives with her mother, Caridad Borroto, and her grandmother on 29th Lane in Hialeah. The three were on vacation in Key Largo on Saturday when they got a call that there home had been set on fire.
Police believe Martos, 48, is to blame. He had a rocky relationship with Borroto, and she had previously taken out a restraining order against him.
Police believe Martos is the man caught on a surveillance camera riding up to the home on a bicycle shortly before the fire was ignited. Police believe he poured fire accelerant in all three bedrooms and set the fire.
Borroto is deaf and can only communicate through sign language. She supports her family on disability benefits.
"He's crazy. He's never changed and he's never going to," Borroto said of Martos to CBSMiami through sign language.
The fire charred many of the family's possessions, including those in Martos' own daughters room.
"She has nothing. She has whatever she took with her on her vacation that's all she has," a relative, Barbara Morales, told CBS of the girl.
Morales also told WSVN that Martos has previously damaged Borroto's car, and that there's not much in the home that can be salvaged.
Martos now sits in jail on charges of first-degree arson, burglary, and aggravated stalking.
The family is staying with relatives. The home is not totally destroyed, and the family hopes to clean up and move back in eventually, but that's not an easy task considering they live off disability benefits.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.