Seminole County

‘This is devastating’: Longwood neighbors react to father stabbing 2 daughters

LONGWOOD, Fla. — The community is coming to terms after Longwood police said a father was arrested and charged with the murder of his 3-year-old daughter and wounding another.

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I’m just so sad (that) this happened,” said neighbor Tamika Washington. “This is devastating.”

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Juan Bravo-Torres is currently in the hospital after police said he hurt himself.

Officials said Bravo-Torres stabbed the toddler to death and woke up his 12-year-old daughter. He sliced her throat and she tried fighting him off.

Police said how the 12-year-old responded is nothing short of heroic.

“She thought the best thing (she) could do is play dead and it worked,” said Longwood police Sgt. Derek Chenoweth.

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Investigators said once her father was unconscious, she ran about a mile after the attack to a McDonald’s in search of help from her mother, who worked there.

“For someone of that age to have the wherewithal to be able to get out of the house to get away from the attacker and to be able to make it almost a mile away while suffering major life-threatening injuries. It is just something that will blow you away,” Chenoweth said.

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The 12-year-old girl is in critical condition in the hospital and will receive therapy if the family accepts it.

Police said the girls’ mother was not home at the time and has not been interviewed yet.

Longwood Police arrested Bravo-Torres in 2011 for domestic violence and battery against the mother of his children. He was put in a diversion program and avoided jail time.

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