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Girl, 8, drank boiling water from straw, dies months later

Ki'ari Pope, 8, died months after drinking boiling water from a straw. (GoFundMe)

The Department of Children and Families is investigating the death of an 8-year-old girl from Boynton Beach after she drank boiling water from a straw on a dare and died months later, according to a recently released report.

The girl, identified by family members as Ki'ari Pope, died at the end of July. According to DCF, Ki'ari told her mother's partner she was having trouble breathing and then fell unconscious. Ki'ari died 40 minutes later at the hospital.

DCF's Critical Incident Rapid Response Team launched a review of the case since there was a verified report on the girl within a year of her death.

In March, DCF found Ki'ari suffered burns to her mouth and throat on a dare by a cousin to drink boiling water out of a straw.

In May, DCF received a report that Ki'ari was not properly supervised. Authorities received another report in June, but the details are redacted from DCF documents.

A statement issued from DCF Secretary Mike Carroll states:

The loss of this child is truly devastating and our condolences go out to all those who loved her. 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. We will also continue to work closely with law enforcement to support their continued efforts.

The Department of Children and Families said the agency received multiple reports between 2009 and 2017 involving the girl and her family, five of them involved recent domestic violence allegations between the girl's mother and her partner.

The Boynton Beach Police Department released the following statement in connection to the case:

This injury stems from an incident occurred in another jurisdiction. We are currently trying to ascertain whether or not they have criminal charges in their case. If that is the case, the child's injuries and death would be investigate by them. At this time, it does not appear to be anything other a medical issue as far as our involvement is concerned. Our reports are still in progress and will be made available to you once the Medical Examiner's Office has concluded their investigation into the cause of death.

A funeral for Ki'ari is set for August 12. A GoFundMePage has been set up to help the family with expenses.

The 8-year-old is the tenth child to die this year in Palm Beach County, according to a DCF database. Child welfare authorities determined four of those children previously had been either abused or neglected.


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