HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – When the father of 4-year-old Jessie Delduca went into one of the family vacation condo’s bedrooms last Saturday morning at 11:20 a.m. and opened a window to allow for a cross-breeze, he made sure it was one of the three furthest from the beds.
After a few minutes, when he hadn’t seen his son anywhere, he went back into the bedroom looking for him. He didn’t find Jessie there, but he did discover that the window he opened had a partially bent screen. He pulled the screen out of the window and shut it closed.
An aunt who was traveling with the family then went into the bedroom, minutes after the father left. She noticed the screen propped against the bed. Unaware as to why or how it got there and, according to a Broward Medical Examiner’s report, “thinking it odd,” she opened the window and looked down. It was then that she saw her 4-year-old nephew lying on a breezeway area below.
The incident occurred at Quadomain Condominium in the 2400 block of South Ocean Drive.
When the aunt first made the discovery, she and the boy’s mother and father went to the lobby where they told the attendant to call 911, but before the attendant made the call, she followed the family outside where she saw the boy lying unresponsive on the ground. Then she called 911.
The Broward Medical Examiner’s report said the 4-year-old was pronounced dead at 11:53 a.m. That was 33 minutes after his father entered the bedroom and opened the window, then came back to find the bent screen.
The medical examiner determined that the boy had landed 10 feet from the building and that it was an accidental fall.
One neighbor described a chaotic scene, telling Local 10 that when it happened, frantic residents from overhead balconies were waving and screaming. The medical examiner’s report also said a call was placed from a fourth floor apartment to 911. The caller states that he heard a “thump.” Other people near the building said they heard a man yelling, “Oh, no.”
Carlos Ramos, who lives nearby, said he heard someone screaming in Spanish and English. “He was asking for help.”
The boy’s mother told Hollywood detectives that Jessie “had always wanted to fly.”