An 8-year-old girl died months after she drank boiling water through a straw because of a dare, authorities said.
Ki'ari Pope’s 8-year-old cousin dared her to drink the hot water in March after the pair watched a “hot water challenge” YouTube video, according to the family's GoFundMe page.
“They dared her and she said, ‘OK, I’m going to show y’all I’m not scared, I’m going to do this,’” Diane Johnson, Pope’s aunt, told WPEC News.
Pope received a tracheotomy after suffering burns to her mouth and throat, reports said.
The surgery “caused her to have chronic respiratory problems” and left her “unable to talk,” her family said.
On Sunday night, Pope complained she was having trouble breathing and then became unresponsive. Paramedics attempted to resuscitate the 8-year-old but she later died at the hospital.
The medical examiner's office is determining the cause of her death, authorities said.
Authorities investigated the boiling water incident, as well as nine other allegations of abuse and neglect involving the girl, reports said. At least one of the investigations turned up proof of either abuse or neglect, NYDailyNews reported.
The Department of Children and Families said there will be an investigation into Pope’s death.
“The loss of this child is truly devastating and our condolences go out to all those who loved her,” Department of Children and Families secretary Mike Carroll said. “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.”