Investigators spent all night trying to figure out how a 3-foot fall could have killed the child who investigators identified as Tymain Peters.
“This is such a tragedy and we are going to have to work with law enforcement until we can figure out what happened,” said Carrie Hoeppner, Florida Department of Children and Families.
The foster father, a local firefighter, told deputies he and a babysitter had put the little boy to bed sometime Sunday night; when the father and babysitter went back to check on him at 8:00pm, the window screen was missing and Tymain Peters was on the ground outside.
The foster father called 911and tried CPR, but Peters was unresponsive when emergency crews arrived. The boy died at Arnold Palmer Hospital.
“They had put the child down to bed but didn’t hear anything. So when they went in to check on him, they discovered he was missing,” said Lt. Paul Hopkins, Orange County Sheriff's Office.
DCF says Tymain Peters had been with the foster family almost since birth, because of his parents’ medical neglect and substance abuse.
“In order to provide medical foster care, you have to have a capable background and complete checks. From what it appears, they certainly do,” Hoeppner said.
The family has fostered medically-needy children for almost ten years without incident. Three others still live in the house. Their fate will be decided once the investigation is over.
DCF said they had a routine visit at the home last week and nothing seemed wrong. They are getting the other children of the household grief counseling.
Investigators said they will have to wait on an autopsy to pinpoint a cause of death.