An 8-year-old Boynton Beach, Fla., girl is dead after injuries she suffered earlier this year from drinking boiling water through a straw as part of a sick dare.
According to the Palm Beach Post, the little girl, identified as Ki’ari Pope, complained to her mother’s boyfriend late Sunday that she couldn’t breathe. Within minutes she was unresponsive, the man said. Ki’ari was rushed to the hospital by emergency responders but was pronounced dead 12:15 a.m. Monday.
The news site notes that state records show Ki’ari burned her mouth and throat back in March after her cousin dared her to drink boiling water from a straw. A GoFundMe page to help the family pay for her funeral expenses indicates that as a result, Ki’ari had to receive a tracheotomy, a procedure that left her deaf and with chronic respiratory problems.
Florida Department of Children and Families records indicated that she was deemed “medically compromised.” Further investigation by state authorities into the March incident uncovered at least nine other allegations of either abuse or neglect involving Ki’ari since her birth, the Palm Beach Post reports.
Five other reports looked into alleged violence between the mother and her boyfriend.
According to the Post, at least one of the investigations provided verified proof of abuse or neglect, though it was not clear who was responsible. For that reason, DCF’s Critical Incident Rapid Response Team will be looking into the child’s death.
“The loss of this child is truly devastating, and our condolences go out to all those who loved her,” department Secretary Mike Carroll said in a statement Wednesday. “We have opened a child death investigation to examine the circumstances surrounding her death and will deploy a Critical Incident Rapid Response Team to review all interactions this family has had with Florida’s child welfare system.”
Read more at the Palm Beach Post.