NYPD: Dad kills daughter over text message

February 18, 2008 8:38:30 AM PST
A father was arrested on charges he killed his 14-year-old daughter, whose burned body was found stuffed in the boiler in the basement of his apartment building.Police say 34-year-old Miguel Matias of the Bronx called 911 Saturday morning, claiming he had strangled his daughter Friday night because she had been text messaging a boy, and had dumped her body in a wooded area in the Bronx.

But when officers searched his apartment building, where he served as superintendent, they discovered a partially burned body in the boiler believed to be his daughter.

The girl had been visiting Matias, but lived in Pennsylvania with her mother and two sisters. Police say the parents were separated and Matias had visitation rights, even though he had a history of emotional problems and was institutionalized after trying to set a car on fire with children inside in Pennsylvania.

It wasn't clear how long ago that incident occurred, or the length of time he was institutionalized. The daughter, believed to be in the car when Matias tried to burn it, was the only child visiting him at the apartment.

The daughter's name wasn't released pending notification of family.

The medical examiner's office will determine the cause of death. Kelly couldn't say if the teen was dead before she was stuffed into the boiler.

There was no telephone listing for Matias at the address provided by police.