Little Ahizya Osceola, a 3-year-old toddler, was found dead in his father’s Hollywood, Florida, home Thursday night under mysterious circumstances, and police say they are investigating the boy’s death as possible criminal. On Saturday, news reports revealed that the boy’s parents had been investigated for abuse or neglect claims four times in the three years that the boy was alive.
In fact, the Broward Sheriff’s Office Child Protective Investigations unit, on behalf of the Department of Children and Families in Florida, investigated Nelson Osceola and the boy’s mother, Karen Cypress — who now live apart — at least one time in every year of Ahizya Osceola’s all-too-brief life.
The most recent report occurred only last month, but according to a report in the Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper, no signs of bodily harm to the boy were discovered at that time, nor in any of the three prior investigations.
The child was found dead in what Hollywood Police Chief Frank Fernandez called “an obscure location” in the home where Nelson Osceola lives with the boy’s stepmother and the couple’s 18-month-old baby.
Ahizya Osceola was reported missing on Thursday morning, as previously reported by the Inquisitr, but according to a report by Miami TV station WSVN, the little boy’s body was found buried under a pile of clothes. He apparently never left the house, police now say.
“The child did not place himself in that position,” said Chief Fernandez.
In 2013, Karen Cypress for allegations that she physically abused Ahizya Osceola, and that she was a substance abuser. But at the time, authorities found nothing to support the allegations.
But last year, according to the WSVN report, Ahizya was taken away from his mother after she was found in a hotel room “under the influence,” and Ahizya was discovered wandering alone in the hotel’s lobby.
The boy was placed in the custody of his father, Nelson, but authorities soon found themselves investigating reports “that abuse was occurring at the father’s residence,” according to official reports cited by WSVN.
Both parents have police records, the Sun-Sentinel reported Saturday.
Last July, Nelson Osceola received a six-month sentence of probation after pleading no contest to a battery charge. Karen Cypress is currently facing a charge of neglecting a child “without harm,” as well a fraud charge, according to the report.
According to the WSVN report, police consider the death of Ahizya Osceola to be a case of foul play, though Fernandez declined to reveal whether the boy’s body showed signs of physical trauma or abuse.
[Image: Hollywood Police Department via WSVN TV]