A young Boynton Beach girl died on Monday following complications after her cousin dared her to drink boiling water using a straw. Eight-year-old Ki’Ari pope had seriously burned her throat and mouth with the boiling water following the dare from a cousin who was reportedly the same age as her.

Child’s cousin dares her to drink boiling water

Marquita Williams, 32, another cousin of the girl, recalled the scalding incident in an interview with The Sun Sentinel, saying it has been difficult to deal with. She said no one told her it was boiling water that Ki’Ari drank and she believed it was hot water from the faucet. She said she gave Pope a drink of cold water and the little girl and her cousin went to bed, but Ki’Ari awoke crying some time later, saying it burned.

The child had suffered serious medical problems in the months following the dare.

Girl experiences problems breathing four months after the dare

Four months after the dare, Pope received a tracheotomy which reportedly led to her suffering chronic respiratory problems and she was unable to speak. On Sunday night the little girl complained that she was experiencing difficulty breathing. According to Pope’s mother’s boyfriend, she became unconscious and unresponsive minutes later. Paramedics tried for 40 minutes to resuscitate Pope before rushing her to a local hospital where the child was pronounced dead in the early morning hours on Monday.

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Family under investigation following girl’s death

Pope’s death is under investigation by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) as there have been a series of around 11 cases involving the family dating back to 2009, five of which involved domestic violence between Ki’Ari’s mother and her boyfriend. Mike Carroll, the secretary for the DCF, said in a statement that the loss of a child is devastating and sent their condolences to the child's family and loved ones. Carroll went on to say an investigation into the child’s death has been opened to look at the circumstances surrounding Pope’s death. He said a team is to review all the various cases involving the family and the child welfare system.

GoFundMe page set up for funeral expenses

As noted on a GoFundMe campaign page set up to cover Pope’s funeral expenses, her cousin dared her to drink the boiling water after a YouTube video gave the girls the idea. According to a report in the Palm Beach Post, Pope would have celebrated her ninth birthday on September 10. Pope’s funeral is set to be held at Johnson’s Memorial Chapel in Boynton in Florida on August 12.