Philadelphia, PA

Mom Attends Birthday Party, Finds Daughter Who Died in House Fire as a Baby

Fatim Hemraj
Luzaida Cuevas embraces her daughter, Delimar VeraPhoto byAll That's Interesting

It was a cold December evening. 31-year-old mom of three, Luzaida Cuevas, was out looking for a job and her boyfriend, Pedro Vera, was visiting relatives while his mother babysat their children; two young sons and a beautiful 10-day-old baby girl named Delimar Vera.

Luzaida pulled into her driveway shortly after 5 pm only to find the second floor of her Philadelphia home engulfed in flames. Everyone had made it out with the exception of baby Delimar. Hysterical, Luzaida ran inside to get her daughter. Chills ran down her spine when she found the crib empty.

Luzaida repeatedly tried to tell firefighters that her newborn baby was missing, but her screams fell on deaf ears. They sent her to a hospital where she was treated for burns on her face. A report would later state that Delimar perished in an accidental fire caused by a homemade extension cord. Despite this, her remains were never found.
Luzaida Cuevas' home in PhiladelphiaPhoto byTW

The case was quickly closed but Luzaida was adamant that her daughter had been kidnapped. After all, there was no body, the crib was empty just minutes after the fire erupted, and the window in the bedroom where Delimar had been sleeping was wide open, despite frigid temperatures.

For years, Luzaida repeated her story to anyone who would listen, but they simply thought she was crazy and the authorities brushed her off. They refused to open an investigation, and even Pedro Vera told Luzaida it was time to move on; they would go on to have a third son before separating for good.

Six years later, Luzaida was invited to attend a child’s birthday party thrown by Pedro Vera’s sister. Also invited was Carolyn Correa, Pedro’s 41-year-old cousin through marriage.

Luzaida couldn’t help but notice that Carolyn’s daughter, 6-year-old Aaliyah Hernandez, had a striking resemblance not only to Luzaida herself but to baby Delimar; both had the same dimples. The little girl even looked like Luzaida’s other children. Luzaida called Aaliyah over and told her that she had gum stuck in her hair. She pulled out a few strands and quickly wrapped them in a napkin.

Later, Luzaida contacted the authorities with her suspicions that Aaliyah was Delimar but they said it was too far-fetched. Instead, Luzaida went to State Representative Angel Cruz who couldn’t deny a mother’s intuition and he managed to convince investigators to submit a DNA test.

It was a match. 6-year-old Aaliyah Hernandez was in fact Delimar Vera.

Carolyn was detained and a second DNA test proved that she was not the little girl’s mother. She was arrested and charged with kidnapping.

Luzaida was reunited with her daughter and when she asked, “Do you know who I am?” the 6-year-old responded, “You are my mother.” Within a month, Delimar was happily living with Luzaida and her three new brothers; Pedro would ultimately obtain shared custody.

Years later, Delimar would state that she was happy she found her way back to her real mother and that she had a good life with kind siblings.
Luzaida with her daughter, Delimar VeraPhoto byFacebook

An investigation revealed that a seemingly pregnant Carolyn visited Luzaida on the day of the kidnapping. Later that evening, Carolyn returned, claiming she had forgotten her purse. She used a second-floor bathroom and took off seconds before the fire broke out. It was determined that she started the fire to cover up the kidnapping. She also set a clinic on fire after she was let go for fraud.

Later that night, Carolyn called her boyfriend, Andre Moore, and told him that she had given birth in their home. They named the baby Aaliyah after the late singer. Eventually, Andre became suspicious and requested a paternity test, only to discover that he was not the father. They broke up and Carolyn continued to raise Delimar as her own child just 3 miles away from Luzaida’s home.

Despite the DNA test, Carolyn insisted that Delimar was her baby, Aaliyah — but there was a problem with her story; Carolyn underwent a tubal ligation years earlier.

Carolyn later claimed she had an affair with Pedro and that he gave her Delimar after she suffered a stillborn, however, there were no medical records to prove that Carolyn was ever pregnant or gave birth. Pedro denied the allegations and investigators concluded that he was not involved in the kidnapping.

Carolyn CorreaPhoto byMirror

A forensic psychologist found that Carolyn suffered from pseudocyesis, a condition in which a woman falsely believes she is pregnant, and that she truly believed Delimar was her child. However, the judge said Carolyn was manipulative, not delusional, and sentenced her to 9 to 30 years in prison.

“I believe I saved her and she saved me. I believe that somebody else could have had her and treated her bad. She saved me because I’d lost my child.” — Carolyn Correa

Thanks for reading. To follow and support my work, visit me on Ko-fi.

This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program. Join today to publish and share your own content.

Comments / 5

Published by

30-something writer powered by two trusty companions: coffee and my feline overlords.


More from Fatim Hemraj

Comments / 0