Vigil to be held for girl who died months after drinking boiling water for a dare

Relatives said Ki'ari Pope, cousins saw video of dare online

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – A vigil is being held Friday night for a young girl who was killed from a deadly dare.

"She was very energetic," Ki'ari Pope's cousin, Diane Johnson, said. "She was full of life. She had a smile that would light up a room."

The 8-year-old from Boynton Beach died Monday morning after a 5-month battle with respiratory issues.

Her medical condition was brought on in March when Ki'ari and her cousins engaged in a dare, challenging each other to drink boiled water through a straw.

Relatives said the children got the idea by watching videos online.

"She was in ICU," Johnson said. "Her esophagus was burned real bad. She went from multiple hospitals having surgery. I don't know if it didn't heal properly, or the scar tissue, but the intensity of the injury just got worse and worse."

A Florida Department of Children and Families report shows that Ki'ari was at home with her mother's boyfriend Sunday night when she told him she was having trouble breathing.

He called 911, but the 8-year-old would not make it.

Ki'ari died 40 minutes after arriving at the hospital.

"I never experienced pain like this in my life, and I don't think my family will get through this," Johnson said.

DCF records show that there have been multiple investigations with child services since Ki'ari was born.

The records also show that there was at least one verified report of either abuse or neglect within 12 months of the child's death, so a Critical Incident Rapid Response Team will conduct a review.

DCF officials said they did not have any open investigations with the family when Ki'ari died.

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