Broward News

Ahizya Osceola's Siblings Ordered to Be Taken From Father as Police Continue Investigation

A Broward judge has ordered that the two siblings of Ahizya Osceola, the 3-year-old Native American boy who was found dead in his Hollywood home last week, be temporarily taken from Ahizya's father and stepmother until police could interview one of the kids. Nelson Osceola was in court Monday, but his wife, Analiz Rodezno, was not. According to multiple reports, Rodenzo had checked herself into a psychiatric ward on Friday after the children were taken from her home.

Nelson Osceola, meanwhile, has retained the services of an attorney, telling Broward Circuit Court Judge Hope Tieman Bristol on Monday, "I have to talk to my lawyer, you know what I'm saying? I don't want anything being [misunderstood]. I just buried my son yesterday. I'm just trying to find peace with myself right now, you understand? My son is gone."

In a video interview with the Sun Sentinel, Osceola's attorney, Hilliard Moldof, said, "It doesn't take a big imagination when your 3-year-old is dead and they are accusing you and/or your loved ones of abuse. He is distraught. Rightfully so."

Over the weekend, reports began to surface that Nelson Osceola and Ahizya's birth mother, Karen Cypress, had been investigated for abuse or neglect at least four times by the Department of Children and Families in Florida. But aside from one incident in which Cypress was found under the influence at a hotel, with Ahizya wandering the lobby of the hotel alone, DCF files say that reports of abuse were unsubstantiated in each case. Cypress is currently facing a neglect-of-child-without-harm charge over the hotel incident. The DCF files do not say what substance she was under the influence of at the time.

Nelson was given custody of Ahizya after the incident.

According to a WSVN report, Nelson Osceola pleaded no contest to a battery charge in July from an unrelated incident and was placed on six months' probation. 

Before Ahizya's death, Cypress had hired an attorney to try to regain custody of the boy.

Ahizya was buried over the weekend at the Big Cypress Seminole Indian reservation. 

An autopsy was performed on Friday, but the Broward medical examiner has not released its findings because of a police hold as Hollywood Police investigate the boy's death.

Ahizya's disappearance made headlines last week after his mother had reported him missing Thursday morning. A massive search for the boy was launched, with Hollywood Police dispatching K9 units and a chopper to sweep the area around the boy's home.

On Friday morning, the search was called off after the boy's body was discovered in his home. In a Friday-morning news conference, Hollywood Police Chief Frank Fernandez said Ahizya was found in "an obscured area" of the home and gave no further details.

According to an email from Hollywood Officer Meredith Elrich, there are no updates on the investigation. Police are expected to interview Osceola and Rondenzo's 5-year-old son on Thursday. 

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