Detectives questioned a local man regarding the murders of his wife and two young daughters. The estranged husband was questioned in the Kendall district station by homicide detectives. After several hours of questioning, Alberto Sierra was released from the police station, but remains a person of interest for the murder of Gladys Machado and her daughters. Police investigators have vowed to continue the investigation until the guilty party is apprehended. While Sierra voluntarily spoke to the police about the pending investigation, experienced Miami criminal attorneys will always dissuade their clients from giving statements to law enforcement. Any statements provided to the police, while seemingly harmless in the event the suspect denies the allegations, can be used to implicate an unknowing suspect. For example, although a suspect denies committing the actual crime, his statement might place him at the scene the at the time the offense was committed. Bottom line, never provide statements to the police as a suspect may be inadvertently building a case against himself.
Besides speaking with suspects, investigators are anxiously awaiting the results of forensic testing conducted on physical evidence impounded at the murder scene. It sometimes takes several weeks for the forensic lab testing to be completed at the Miami-Dade Police Department crime lab. The crimes lab performs a variety of forensic testing including, DNA, ballistics, fingerprinting and gun shot residue (GSR). The medical examiner's office will also perform autopsies on the victims to ultimately determine the cause of death. Both the crime lab results and the medical examiner's findings will eventually be used to prosecute the person formally charged with the offenses.
Machado and her daughters were last seen alive leaving her grandmother's house located in Homestead, Florida. The bodies were later found in North Miami at a home where Macahdo used to live with Sierra. The home was vacant at the time and investigators have no idea how the bodies arrived at that location. The location of the bodies and Sierra's significant criminal history most likely lead him to be a person of interest. Sierra has a history of gun and drug charges, as well as, a history of domestic violence. While living with Machado at the house where the bodies were discovered, Sierra pled guilty to the offense of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and was sentenced to 364 days in the Miami-Dade County jail.
Prior to her marriage with Sierra, Machado had been previously married to Michael Padrino and resided in Miami Beach. After the marriage ended, she moved to Homestead to live with her grandmother who helped care for the children. Soon after the divorce, Machado married Sierra despite warnings from friends and family. Sierra was released certainly because the homicide investigators did not have probable cause to make an arrest. However, once the forensic experts and medical examiner complete their investigations, an arrest may be made if the results either link Sierra to the murder scene or the murder weapon.
Miami-Dade Police Question, Release Estranged Husband of Woman Slain with Daughters, Miami Herald.com, November 15, 2012.