Ki’ari Pope was a lively, Boynton Beach eight-year-old who attended Washington Elementary School, even playing on the basketball team. She liked to listen to rap music from her favorite artist, Kodak Black. But something she did on an alleged dare from her cousin, may be the cause behind the death of little Ki’ari.
As investigators report, Ki’ari was watching a YouTube video with her cousin that featured individuals appearing to drink boiling water through a straw. The cousin reportedly dared Ki’ari to reenact the YouTube scene and use a straw to drink boiling water. The third-grader did, and was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery on her windpipe, according to her mother, to clear scar tissue so she could breathe.
The episode happened in March, but records show that Ki’ari was still having trouble breathing and even talking. Her mother, Marquisia Bonner, 22, said it was from complications form her daughter’s tracheotomy.
There are documents of at least two trips to the emergency room following the incident.
Bonner also informed authorities that Ki’ari was scheduled for a medical evaluation on August 4. But sadly, she did not make it to that appointment.
Shortly before midnight on July 30, Ki’ari told her mom’s boyfriend that she was having trouble breathing. Bonner was reportedly at a store when her daughter fell unconscious and her boyfriend called 911. By 12:15 a.m., July 31, Ki’ari Pope was pronounced dead.
In an emailed statement, DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said, “The loss of this child is truly devastating, and our condolences go out to all those who loved her.” The department has opened a child death investigation and has ordered a “Critical Incident Rapid Response Team to review all interactions this family has had with Florida’s child welfare system.”
Since 2009, Bonner has had a series of cases, including 5 domestic violence investigations.
A woman identifying herself as Bonner’s cousin, said DCF officials removed Bonner’s three other children on August 3.
An ongoing investigation is underway to determine the girl’s cause of death.
Ki’ari’s funeral is scheduled for August 12. The family has set up a gofundme page to help raise money for the expenses.