A little girl has died after being dared to drink boiling water Florida state authorities said.
Ki’ari Pope, aged eight, suffered breathing difficulties and became unresponsive on Sunday night. Rescue crews rushed her to hospital where she was pronounced dead at 12:15am on Monday.
Pope’s mother, Marquisia Bonner, of Boyton Beach, Florida, said the little girl was dared to drink the boiling water by her cousin in March.
After the horrific incident, Ki’ari received a tracheotomy, an incision in the windpipe that reportedly left her deaf and with chronic respiratory problems, reports Palm Beach Post.
State authorities investigated the incident in March as well as at least nine other allegations of either abuse or neglect involving the eight-year-old since her birth.
Department Secretary Mike Carroll released a statement on Wednesday saying:
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.
At least one of those investigations – it is unclear which – yielded verified proof of either abuse or neglect.