Father talks about 4-year-old son's death

Antwon Hope found dead Monday; Boy's mother held under Baker Act

Destene Simmons (left) and her son Antwon Hope (right)
Destene Simmons (left) and her son Antwon Hope (right)

DANIA BEACH, Fla. – The father of a 4-year-old boy talked about his son's death while the boy's mother remained in a state psychiatric hospital under the Baker Act Wednesday.

A medical examiner is conducting an autopsy to determine what killed Antwon Hope, who was found in a Coral Springs apartment that she shared with his mother on Monday.

Police arrested Destene Simmons, 23, on an outstanding traffic warrant. After she posted bond Tuesday, she was transferred to a state mental hospital.

"How could you let the world get to you so much to, now, our 4-year-old son is gone," said Antwon Hope, the boy's father.

Hope believes Simmons will likely face murder charges. He said she suffers from mental illness and lost custody of the boy in 2011 after she tried to smother him.

The boy was placed in foster case, then given to Simmons' aunt, according to the Department of Children and Families. A judge recently granted his mother unsupervised visits.

"I didn't actually know Destene was getting him like that," said Hope.

The Department of Children and Families won't confirmed all the details of its history with the family until the medical examiner determines how the boy died.

Hope described his son as a happy boy who graduated from pre-kindergarten two weeks ago.

"I don't blame DCF. I don't blame Sharon (the boy's aunt). I don't blame nobody because Destene is Antwon's mama," said Hope.