Broward News

Ahizya Osceola: DCF Reports Detail Pattern of Abuse, Neglect (UPDATED)

A DCF spokesperson reached by New Times explained that the Osceola investigations were not conducted by DCF, but by BSO ‘s Child Protective Investigations Section.

"DCF employees do not conduct these investigations in Broward County," the spokesperson told New Times. "DCF is the custodian of the redacted records."

The spokesperson did confirm that Seminole Family Services also took part in the investigations, per our story. 

Original story:
"No child should ever endure what little Ahizya had to endure during his life," Hollywood Police Chief Frank Fernandez told a gaggle of reporters as he announced the arrest of the father and stepmother in connection to the death of three-year-old Ahizya Osceola Wednesday afternoon. 

Police say when Ahizya's body was found, it was "covered in bruises from head to toe," and a somber and horrifying picture of repeated abuse began to unfold in the days following the disappearance and death of the boy. At least four different incidents investigated by BSO ‘s Child Protective Investigations Section were reported in the last three years, but each report of abuse was found as "unsubstantiated," which apparently warranted no further action.

But now a more detailed 27-page report has emerged, and the details are grim. It reveals a life filled with a pattern of abuse and neglect. One which would ultimately lead to a terrible fate for Ahizya.

Here's a timeline detailing the pattern of abuse and neglect Ahizya Osceola endured in his short life:

August 4, 2012: Ahizya's mother, Karen Cypress, "drove a car with her children and other children while being visibly intoxicated." Some of the children were not wearing seat belts, and the teenagers in the car appeared intoxicated as well. The report concludes that the "mother acts as if she is not ready to be a mother," and that she'd rather party and do things without her children. It says that her home, where Ahizya lived, was treated as a hangout, with men coming and going at different times. The report goes on to say Ahizya's mother "drinks on a daily basis [...] falling, stumbling, and vomiting over her clothes." The report also says she uses cocaine and drinks.

Report Conclusion: "The mother appears to need help from people and cannot manage everything on her own.

August 7, 2013: Ahizya came home from his father Nelson Osceola's home with "unexplained bruises and a busted lip." The report says the boy smelled of marijuana, and had a bruise that covered the entire area of his left eye. 

January 18, 2014: Cypress is arrested for child neglect after she's found passed out in her hotel room with a bottle of Ciroc Vodka nearby. Ahizya, who was two-years-old at the time, is found wandering the lobby of the hotel by himself. According to the report, the child left the fifth-floor room on his own and took the elevator downstairs. He was alone for approximately 30 minutes before being discovered, while Cypress remained in the hotel room. The bottle of Ciroc, the report notes, was within reach of Ahizya grabbing it, if he wanted to.

Following Cypress' arrest, custody of Ahizya was given over to his father Nelson. 

March-April, 2014: While living with his father Nelson, Ahizya is reported to have "multiple bruises on his body" in separate incidents during the months of March and April of 2014.

In one incident, Ahizya "has finger prints and a bruise on the lower side of each side of his jaw bone." The report goes on to say that the boy had scratches all over his neck, a bump and bruise on his forehead, In another incident, Ahizya is found to have bruises on his face, a pinch mark on his ear, a bruise on his back and shoulder, bruises on his rib cage and a busted lip. The report also notes that Nelson disciplines the child by spanking him on the bottom.

Report Conclusion: Maltreatment Physical Injury: "Findings Not Substantiated" ... "At this time, the family has been seen. The home was observed to be adequate for the child as there was no hazard conditions observed."

December 7, 2014: When Karen Cypress picked up Ahizya during a visitation, she noticed that the boy had a bruise on the left side of his cheek. He also complained that his "butt hurt" when he tried to sit down. When asked why his bottom hurt, Ahizya replied, "Mommy hurt my butt." Ahizya was alluding to his stepmother Analiz Oceola, who yesterday was arrested on multiple charges in connection to the boy's death, including aggravated manslaughter. 

When Cypress confronted Nelson over Ahizya's injuries, he claimed that the boy hurt himself by falling down, which is a narrative he's stuck to ever since news of Ahizya's death broke.

A child protection investigator interviewed Nelson and Analiz, and each stuck to the story that Ahizya had injured himself while playing. They told the CPI that Ahizya sustained the injury on his face by falling as he tried to climb into a toy wagon.  The CPI goes on to report strife between Cyrpess and Ahizya's stepmother.

Report Conclusion: "There are no behaviors indicative of abuse." ; "The father and stepmother were recently married and are willing to care for and protect to keep the child safe. The parents display characteristics of being able to make sound decisions."

March 19, 2015 (not in the DCF reports): Ahizya is reported missing by stepmother Analiz. She claims that her wallet and keys are also missing. Hollywood Police, with the help of BSO and Seminole Police, conduct a mass search for the boy.

March 20-25, 2015 (not in DCF reports): Police report that they found Ahizya's body in "an obscure area" of the father's home. Police would go on to further reveal that the child was covered in bruises, and the cause of death was an injured pancreas and liver. Police say Analiz Osceola stuffed the boy's body into trash bags, and then placed him in a box inside the laundry room of her home. Police also say that Analiz gave them false information.

A final sad note: A couple of the DCF reports noted how friendly and rambunctious Ahizya was during the interviews and investigations. Some also noted that Nelson and Analiz were cooperative and friendly.  In the end, DCF the reports concluded in each case that Ahizya didn't appear to be a child in trouble, and that there were no signs indicating that he lived in an abusive atmosphere. In one of the reports. The reports also say that Seminole Family Services, which helped in some of the investigations, did not feel that implementing a safety plan for the boy was necessary. 

Osceola DCF report.pdf by Chris Joseph

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph