Many questions unanswered as investigation continues in toddler death


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As city workers reinspected the access point to the underground tank where 3-year-old Amari Harley's body was found Sunday night, the boy's family, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, city leaders and the Florida Department of Children and Families all want to know how he got inside. 

Amari was reported missing about 4:30 p.m. Sunday during a family birthday party at Bruce Park. The search for the boy grew to involve dozens of officers, citizens and a helicopter. A Florida Missing Child Alert was issued at 7:15 p.m.

The death of Harley in a Jacksonville park Sunday evening has many asking how this could happen at a place where children are supposed to be safe.

Attorney John Phillips asked, “Why these things were there when the city could put a fence around it.?” Phillips said there “are lots of questions more questions than answers.”

Among the questions are, could the city of Jacksonville be held accountable?

According to Phillips, “If we have a duty to fence our home pools we have a duty to fence these drains.”

An autopsy was conducted on Monday for Harley but the results may not be released until the police investigation is completed.

Phillips said that there is an issue of liability with the city of Jacksonville. According to Phillips, as a community, we should be concerned for the next child “if we don’t have fencing or deadbolts locks, if we don’t do something more” to prevent a similar situation. 

The Sheriff's Office continues to investigate.