An 8-year-old Florida girl died Monday from complications after drinking boiling water on a dare.
Ki’ari Pope from Boynton Beach burned her mouth and throat in March when her cousin dared her to drink boiling water from a straw, according to records from the Florida Department of Children and Families that were obtained by the Palm Beach Post.
“Ki’ari was dared to drink hot boiling water by a cousin that was the same age as her,” according to a GoFundMe page set up for Ki’ari’s funeral expenses. The page explained the girls got the idea from a YouTube video.
The young girl, who would’ve celebrated her birthday on Sept. 10, received a tracheotomy that “caused her to have chronic respiratory problems” and rendered her “unable to talk.”
According to the Palm Beach Post, records state that Ki’ari complained she was having trouble breathing at her home on late Sunday. Minutes later, her mother’s boyfriend said she was unconscious and unresponsive. After paramedics spent 40 minutes trying to resuscitate her, rescue crews rushed Ki’ari to a hospital where she was pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m. Monday.
Ki’ari’s cousin Marquita Williams, 32, recently recalled the tragic scalding accident, explaining that “it’s been hard to deal with.”
“They didn’t tell me she drank the boiling water. I thought it was hot water out of the faucet,” Williams told The Sun Sentinel about how the cousins informed her.
Williams gave Ki’ara some cold water and the two went to bed that night, but a few hours later, Ki’ari woke up crying, saying, “It burns, it burns.”
The latest incident marks at least the 11th investigation into Ki’ari and her family since 2008, according to DCF records obtained by local news affiliate Fox 23.
West Palm Beach’s WPTV reports the department’s Critical Incident Rapid Response Team will be looking into Ki’ara’s death because a 2017 investigation yielded proof of either abuse or neglect.
A funeral for Ki’ari will be held on August 12 at Johnson’s Memorial Chapel in Boynton.