A Florida family is mourning the loss of 8-year-old Ki’ara Pope, months after a dare went horribly awry.
Ki’ara was burned in March after a cousin dared her to drink boiling water through a straw, according to the Palm Beach Post. She told her mother’s partner that she couldn’t breathe shortly before becoming unresponsive. On a GoFundMe page set up to cover funeral expenses, Ki’ara’s mother said the girl had to receive a tracheotomy that rendered her unable to talk.
The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) plans to investigate Ki’ara’s death. According to state records, the young girl and her family have been the subject of ten investigations into allegations of abuse and neglect. The last four investigations occurred within the last seven months. State authorities have also investigated five other reports of alleged violence between Ki’ara’s mother and her partner.
Florida’s DCF has recently been scrutinizedfor overwhelming an inexperienced staff. Although the recommended caseload is fifteen, many investigators juggled twice that amount at different points in 2016. Ki’ara Pope is one of four children who passed away this year after DCF discovered verified proof of abuse or neglect in their households. The department has a high turnover rate for investigators, and some employees blame a “reactive system” that changes after cases like Ki’ara’s in which a child dies while her case is under investigation.