8-Year-Old Dies After Playing Truth Or Dare

A game of truth or dare went terribly wrong, claiming the life of a little girl. Four months after she was dared to drink boiling water through a straw, Ki’ari Pope, an 8-year-old schoolgirl, has died from her injuries. The horror began when Ki’ari began to have difficulty breathing in the night, convincing her mother’s boyfriend to call 9-11.

According to the Department of Children and Families, Ki’ari lost consciousness soon after 9-11 was called. Paramedics were quickly dispatched to the scene, whereupon they rushed Ki’ari to the nearest hospital. Horrifyingly, they were not able to save the young girl and 40 minutes after arriving at the hospital, Ki’ari was pronounced dead.

The 8-year-old girl had been suffering from ongoing medical difficulties ever since her cousin had dared her to consume boiling water, a dare that has cost Ki’ari her life. In an interview with WPEC-TV, Ki’ari’s family informed reporters that the children had taken the horrifying idea from YouTube. According to Marquisia Bonner, Ki’ari’s mother, the Hot Water Challenge, a video showing someone allegedly drinking boiling water through a straw, was the specific inspiration for the tragic dare.

When she drank the water, Ki’ari nearly died and doctors were forced to initiate emergency surgery. With scar tissue causing havoc with Ki’ari’s respiratory processes, doctors had no choice but to operate on the young girl’s windpipe, performing a tracheotomy to remove the scar tissue. Ever since, Ms. Bonner noticed that Ki’ari struggled to breath at times.

Stephanie Slater, a spokeswoman for the Boynton Beach Police Department, has emphasized that no criminal investigation is planned and that the medical examiner will come to a conclusion on Ki’ari’s cause of death.

However, there are growing concerns that Ki’ari’s family were not providing the support or care that the girl required. After discovering that it had received nine reports about Ki’ari’s wellbeing since 2009, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) began a formal investigation into the tragic death of the young girl.

Speaking to WJXT, Mike Carroll, the DCF secretary, recently spoke out about the investigation, stating: “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 horrifying incident has highlighted how susceptible young children can be to online content, no matter the obvious danger of such challenges. Diane Johnson, Ki’ari’s aunt, spoke to WPEC-TV about the growing danger of unregulated YouTube content. Recalling the moment Ki’ari drank the boiling water, Ms. Johnson told WKMG-TV: “They dared her and she said, ‘OK, I’m going to show y’all I’m not scared, I’m going to do this.’”

With the rise of smartphones and independent wireless networks, it’s more difficult than ever for parents to monitor and review what their children are reading and watching. "Parents, talk to your kids about these challenges. Don't just let it go by and just give them your phone and let them be. No. Watch what they're watching,” emphasized the heartbroken aunt.

Source: HuffPost, CBS News
Photo: GoFundMe

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