Funeral set for girl who died after doing 'Hot Water Challenge'
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (CBS 12) —
Funeral services will be held August 12 for the 8 year old Boynton Beach girl who died after doing the “Hot Water Challenge.”
Friday night, friends and family gathered together to light candles and release balloons outside the Boynton Beach home where Ki’ari lived.
Ki’ari’s aunt, Denise Johnson led the family in prayer.
“Know we don’t understand, we would never come to an agreement with it, but we trust you God,” Johnson said.
Overtaken by emotions, Ki’ari’s mother, Marquisia Bonner, could find only few words to share
“She was full of life, you know. That was my best friend,” Bonner said.
Ki’ari Pope, 8, was just weeks from starting the 3rd grade.
Pope’s family says in March, Ki’ari and her cousins were watching YouTube videos when they came across several videos showing people taking part in the “Hot Water Challenge.” On a dare from her cousins, family members say Ki’ari used a small plastic pipe to drink boiling hot water from a cup.
“They dared her and she said ok, I’m going to show y’all I’m not scared, I’m going to do this,” Ki’ari’s aunt Diane Johnson said.
Ki’ari suffered burns to her mouth and throat. She had been recovering since the accident in March.
On Sunday night, July 30, 2017, Ki’ari was at home on NE 13th Avenue in Boynton Beach when she reportedly started having trouble breathing. She was rushed to an area hospital by paramedics, but later died.
“Tell your kids about these challenges, these challenges are horrific,” Johnson said.
A quick search of “Hot Water Challenge” pops up many videos on YouTube, some with millions of views. Johnson said Ki’ari was expected to make a full recovery and is devastated to now having to plan her funeral.
“Parents talk to your kids about these challenges, don’t just give them your phone and let them go by, watch what they are doing,” John said.
Ki’ari’s family plans to hold a vigil outside of their Boynton Beach home Friday at 7 p.m.
They have also set up a Go Fund Me page to help with funeral costs. (LINK: https://www.gofundme.com/kiari-pope-funeral-arrangements)
A funeral for Ki’ari is planned for August 12 at Johnson’s Memorial Chapel in Boynton Beach.
Florida Department of Children and Families confirms they are investigating Ki’ari’s death.
“The loss of a child is truly devastating and our condolences go out to all those who loved her,” said Mike Carroll, Secretary of Florida Department of Children and Families. “We will also continue to work closely with law enforcement to support their continued efforts.”
DCF confirms they have had multiple reports involving Ki’ari’s family between 2009 and 2017, including four in 2017. Among those was the March report to DCF that Ki’ari had suffered burns as part of the “Hot Water Challenge”. None of the DCF reports suggest wrong doing by Ki’ari’s family. Johnson said all of the cases were closed without incident.