Toddler, father found dead hours after mother sought emergency pick-up order

Toddler, father found dead hours after mother sought emergency pick-up order

FORT LAUDERDALE— A 4-year-old boy and his father were discovered dead in a South Florida condo, just hours after the boy's mother requested an emergency order allowing authorities to pick up the child.

The Fort Lauderdale Police Department did not immediately provide a cause of death, nor did officers provide any additional information about the bodies' discovery in a downtown Fort Lauderdale condo late Friday.

According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the boy's mother received an email from a judge denying her motion for an emergency pick-up order less than 12 hours after the bodies were discovered. According to the judge, the motion "does not present an emergency as it addresses the issue of child visitation."

The boy's mother sought protection orders against the father last week for stalking and domestic violence. She claimed the boy's father followed her on social media, ran background and credit checks on people in her life, and sent threatening texts. Three days before the fatalities, he texted her, “You deserve to have your head separated from your body,” according to her petition.

On Friday, the mother requested an emergency pick-up order, which would have allowed law enforcement to enter the condo and take the child. The petition cited a series of threatening and obscene texts she received from her father that week. She claimed that his father had not taken him to school and that police were unable to locate them to inquire about his well-being.

“It just absolutely breaks my heart because our system can do better,” said Meaghan Marro, the mother’s attorney.

The father's landlord, William Devries, 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 cops, who arrived Friday night and discovered the bodies.