BSO investigates death of 2-year-old Broward boy

Broward County detectives are investigating the death of an Oakland Park toddler who was taken to the hospital unresponsive early Thursday morning.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office identified the 2-year-old boy as Amari Francis, who lived in the 2700 block of Northwest 44th Street. A BSO spokeswoman said Amari was taken to Florida Medical Center’s emergency room after his mother found him unresponsive. Amari was pronounced dead there.

Florida Medical Center reported the child’s death to DCF just before 1:30 a.m., BSO said.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Children & Families, Paige Patterson-Hughes, said in a short prepared statement that the agency also is investigating Amari’s death. In Broward, BSO performs child abuse and neglect investigations under contract with DCF. Amari’s family had been the subject of two prior reports to DCF’s hotline, both allegations of inadequate supervision, and both in 2013, an incident report says.

Amari’s body was sent to the Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy, BSO said, adding “there were no obvious signs of trauma.”

The ME’s office is awaiting results of toxicology testing to determine a cause of death, BSO said.

Amari’s parents had no other children, Patterson-Hughes said.

An incident report on Amari’s death said that the boy’s uncle put him to bed at around 8 p.m., and his mother returned home from work at 10:40 p.m. At around midnight, Amari’s mother found him “unresponsive and not breathing.” Amari’s mother drove the toddler to the hospital while another uncle performed CPR en route, the report said.

Amari “arrived to the hospital unresponsive and still not breathing,” the report said.

Crime scene detectives were at the lakefront, gated apartment complex in Oakland Park early Thursday morning looking into the boy's death. Neighbors in the Bridgewater Place Apartments, across from a golf course, were shocked when they heard the news.

“I had no idea. It's crazy to think because there are so many little kids here,” Michael West told Miami Herald news partner CBS4.

Neighbor Mari Cruz told the station she felt for the family.

“I can only imagine what the mom is feeling, and I really feel terrible for her,” she said.

Read more Broward stories from the Miami Herald

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