South Florida toddler, father found dead, hours after mother sought order

Posted at 5:28 AM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-24 05:28:06-04

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A 4-year-old boy and his father were found dead in a South Florida condo, just hours after the boy's mother had petitioned for an emergency order for authorities to pick up the child. The Fort Lauderdale Police Department didn't immediately give a cause of death nor did officers release any further details about the discovery of the bodies in the downtown Fort Lauderdale condo late Friday. The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported that less than 12 hours after the discovery of the bodies the boy's mother received an email from a judge denying denying her motion for an emergency pick-up order. The judge said the motion “does not present an emergency as it addresses the issue of child visitation.” Last week, the boy’s mother sought protection orders against the father for stalking and domestic violence. She said the boy's father had set up fake social media accounts to follow her, ran background and credit checks on people in her life and sent threatening texts. Three days before the deaths, he texted her, “You deserve to have your head separated from your body,” according to her petition. On Friday, the mother filed for the emergency pick-up order, which would have authorized law enforcement officials to go the condo and take the child. The petition cited a string of threatening and obscene texts the father had sent her that week. She said the father hadn’t taken him to school and that police couldn’t locate them to check on his welfare. “It just absolutely breaks my heart because our system can do better,” said Meaghan Marro, the mother's attorney. William Devries, the father's landlord, said the boy’s mother had called him and asked him to check on her son, saying the father seemed “not right.” “She was very concerned, obviously,” Devries said. Devries called the police, who went there Friday night and found the bodies.