By Barbara Liston
ORLANDO, Fla., March 25 (Reuters) - A 25-year-old Florida father deliberately drove his family into a retention pond two days before Christmas, killing himself, his young daughter and newborn along with their mother, according to a police report released on Wednesday.
Upon removing the submerged car, investigators found the father's foot was still pressing the accelerator down to the floor. They also saw evidence the mother was trying to save the children, who were unbuckled from their car seats.
The Dec. 23 death of Ulysses Montero was ruled a suicide, while the deaths of 4-year-old Julissa Montero, 5-day-old Delias Montero and the children's mother, Julie Lopez-Elias, 24, were homicides, Kissimmee Police spokeswoman Stacie Miller said.
The couple's 7-year-old son was not in the car and is in the custody of his maternal grandmother, Miller said.
A three-month-long investigation ruled out mechanical problems with the car, a medical episode affecting Montero's driving and the involvement of any other vehicle, Miller said.
A witness told investigators that she saw Lopez-Elias struggling for control of the car as it sped by at about 55 miles per hour and entered the pond at a community college without braking.
Montero, who had a history of arrests for violent crimes, had been accused of ramming Lopez-Elias's car about 10 months before the incident, according to the police report. (Reporting by Barbara Liston; Editing by Letitia Stein and Eric Beech)