HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) — The search for a missing 3-year-old boy ended Friday where it began a day earlier, inside a Florida home where the child's body was discovered in what police called an "obscured" location.
Hollywood Police Chief Frank Fernandez offered few details during a Friday morning news conference that followed a massive search by multiple law enforcement agencies for Ahizya Osceola. He didn't say whether any suspects have been identified, but he said the parents are cooperating with police.
"During an exhaustive search of the house, we discovered the body of little Ahizya in an obscured location not readily visible to the average person," Fernandez said. "The child did not place himself in that position."
A criminal investigation is underway at the home where the boy lived with his father, Nelson Osceola.
The home was roped off in yellow police tape Friday, and police crime unit vehicles were parked on the street out front.
The two other children who had been living in the home have been removed by the Broward Sheriff's Office Child Protective Investigations unit, the Florida Department of Children and Families reported. A shelter hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Saturday.
Officials have investigated four incidents regarding Ahizya in the past two years, according to DCF records. The first two occurred with the child's mother, prompting the boy and other children to be removed from her custody in January 2014. While in his father's custody, investigations in April 2014 and February 2015 didn't find evidence of physical injury.
Osceola told the South Florida Sun Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1EAEV2H ) on Thursday that the little boy was sleeping when he left home about 7:30 a.m. His wife, who has not been identified by police, was awake and he said he was in contact through text messages with her until about 9 a.m., when she and their 8-month-old child fell asleep.
"She woke up and he was gone," Osceola said, adding that he learned about the boy's disappearance in a text message from his wife.
The police were notified of the missing child just before noon Thursday.
The boy's mother, Karen Cypress, told the newspaper that the child lived with his father and that she had not seen him since December.
Fernandez said it's too early to tell if there was any trauma to the child, adding that if there is, "it's hidden from the eye."
The child's body was taken to the medical examiner's office on Friday morning.