A Florida father has admitted to fatally punching his infant daughter while family members were taking shelter from the onslaught of Hurricane Irma, cops say.
The family was seeking shelter in an Orlando home on Sept. 13 when 5-month-old Kali Dream Castell’s mother called 911 because her daughter wasn’t breathing.
According to Click On Orlando, the mother of Kali Dream and her father, Dekari Castell, were leaving with Dekari’s mother as they were affected by Hurricane Irma. Interestingly enough, little Kali Dream was found unresponsive in the same residence where police arrested Markeith Loyd in January. Loyd is the man accused of killing Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton.
Paramedics arrived at the home following the Tia Harris’ anguished phone call that her 5 moth-old daughter, Kali Dream, was not breathing. Upon arrival, they attempted CPR before rushing little Kali to a hospital. According to the police, Kali’s father, Dekari Castell, told authorities that he mistakenly dropped Kali after she wiggled out of his grasp days before. Sadly, he would change that story 2 more times before investigators learned the truth. In an attempt to revive her, Kali was placed on life support, but a brain scan revealed bleeding in the brain and several skull fractures, according to hospital records obtained by WKMG. Tragically, she was pronounced dead the next day.
Medical officials weren’t buying the story that Kali simply was dropped by her father. Doctors later told police they’d discovered a depression in her skull that indicated she had been hit. When confronted with the news, Dekari Castell changed his story again. This time, he claimed Kali was on a tv stand and fell. Then, he changed his story a third time, claiming he was throwing Kali into the air and she fell. After lying 3 times, he eventually told the truth about what happened to Kali Dream.
Dekari Castell finally admitted he hit his daughter twice in the head because he was allegedly “highly stressed" from being without power during the hurricane and little Kali wouldn’t stop crying. However, investigators learned that Dekari and Kali’s mother, Tia, had been in an argument on September 13th. Click On Orlando revealed that Tia Harris told authorities that Castell reportedly slapped her in the face because she was unable to open a window. This allegedly occurred about two hours before she called 911 for their daughter. After allegedly being slapped by Dekari, Tia Harris reportedly went to her stepfather’s apartment nearby. When she returned to the home on Lescot Lane, she found Kali unconscious. Dekari had lied to her too and told her that Kali started choking.
Arrested And Booked
Dekari Castell was arrested Monday and booked into the Orange County Jail on a charge of aggravated child abuse. On Tuesday evening, a first-degree murder charge was also filed against Castell, according to reports. In his mugshot, Castell appears to have a tattoo above his left eye that says Kali. In a statement, the Florida’s Department of Children and Families called Kali’s death a tragedy.
We continue to mourn the loss of Kali and are supporting all those who loved her in any way we can. DCF’s investigation into this tragedy is ongoing and we’re coordinating with law enforcement to hold anyone responsible fully accountable. DCF had no prior interaction with Kali or her mother. It is sickening that anyone would allegedly hurt an innocent child, the department said.