• Neighbors react to 7 year old boy dead inside home

    By: Deanna Bettineschi


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Neighbors believe a 7-year old boy is gone too soon.

    Tialia Parkinson said it's a tragedy she couldn't imagine going through.

    "It's very alarming to me because I have six kids. When I heard the situation I was like that could've been my son," said Parkinson.

    Parkinson said she saw several police cars in her neighborhood last night.

    Police said they found a 7-year old boy dead inside of his home in the Centennial Town Homes West neighborhood.

    Police aren't saying much else.

    "We are called out in these type situations because it's an unnatural type situation and we will be investigating it to determine the exact cause of his death," said Sgt. T.K. Waters.

    "I'll stress that this is a situation where it's an unnatural death of a 7-year-old, that doesn’t mean that there are suspects to be found."

    Action News spoke to a next-door neighbor, who says he was home as police pulled into the complex.

    "It's so close to the house, I felt really sad for the mother," he said.

    But neighbors say they've got some insight in to what happened.

    "And when the father said 'my sons strangled himself'," said Bates.

    Neighbor Tailia Parkinson also spoke to family.

    "He explained to me that his nephew was playing in the closet with a toy snake and must've fell off a bucket or something and strangled himself," she said.

    "Then I thought about my child and I realized when you think they're safe and they're out there playing around you realize they really may not be safe," said Bates.

    Police said the mother called police.

    People who spend time with the neighborhood children tell me it's a huge loss.

    "We get to know the kids on a first name basis, but it is definitely a loss for our community and I feel for the parents right now," said Lisa Roach.

    "It's really hard when you have kids of your own that's that same age and you know that your kids probably know them and played with them," said Westmoreland.

    "That makes me want to go in the house, grab them, hold them tight and just start doing more activities with them," said Parkinson.

    Currently neighbors say they don't know his name, but will continue to pray for his family.

    Neighbors said they saw the mother being taken in for questioning. Police said investigators are questioning the siblings as well.

    Action News reached out to the Department of Children and Families. DCF'S John Harrell, said if JSO finds any abuse or neglect in this case then law enforcement will contact DCF and they will investigate.

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