Police officer identified as father of child found dead in dumpster
Woman accused of killing daughter previously accused officer of child abuse
BY AMANDA BATCHELOR, SENIOR DIGITAL EDITOR
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. (WPLG) – A Miami Beach police officer has been identified by authorities as the father of a 4-year-old girl who was found dead in dumpster Sunday in southwest Miami-Dade.
A Miami Beach police representative asked in a statement that the privacy of Officer Leon Paige be “respected during this very difficult time.”
“We send our deepest condolences and prayers to Officer Leon Paige and his family on the loss of his daughter,” the statement read.
Paige has been employed by the Miami Beach Police Department for a little over a year and previously worked for the Florida Highway Patrol.
Records show that Paige and his daughter’s mother, Tina Farrington, 31, were embroiled in a legal dispute after Farrington accused the officer of abusing their 2-year-old son in June, the Miami Herald first reported.
The Herald reported that Farrington filed a restraining order against Paige, claiming that he beat their son with a belt and sent him to day care with knots on his head.
The Florida Department of Children and Families opened an investigation, but found no signs of abuse. Paige was not arrested.
Despite the abuse allegations against Paige, police said it was Farrington who killed their daughter on Halloween after the girl talked back to her.
Miami-Dade police said a man was taking out the trash at the Tuscany Place Apartments about 12:45 p.m. Sunday when he found the body of Tania Paige wrapped in a blanket and called 911.
Neighbors said she could be heard yelling at officers to get out of her apartment.
“And her face was just, like, no remorse, no worries. We knew she was there because her car was there,” one woman said.
According to an arrest report, Farrington was at home with her two children on Halloween when she became upset because Tania talked back to her.
Police said Farrington lured the victim and her brother into her bedroom and then suffocated Tania with a pillow.
Authorities said Farrington hid her daughter’s body in the trunk of her 2013 Nissan Altima for several days.
According to the arrest report, Farrington noticed that a foul odor was coming from her trunk on Sunday, so she removed the body and placed it into a dumpster.
Police said the victim’s body was in the early stages of decomposition when it was found, and bruises could be seen on the victim’s arms, legs and torso.
Detectives said Farrington confessed to killing her daughter.
DCF spokeswoman Jessica Sims said Farrington and Paige’s son is in the care of relatives. A shelter hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.