LAUDERHILL (CBSMiami) — Family and friends gathered Sunday for the funeral of a an 8-year old boy who died in a Lauderhill apartment fire.
Funeral services were held for Jayden Isme at the Redeeming Word located at 2800 W prospect Road starting at 12:00 p.m.
The services took place while Jayden’s father, Wisler Isme, 29, faces a charge of child neglect. Investigators say Isme left this sons Jayden, 8, and Justin, 9,home alone and when he returned to the home it was fully engulfed in flames on June 23rd.
Isme turned himself in at the Broward County Jail on Tuesday, July 1st.
At a hearing a day later, Isme’s attorney Scott Hecker questioned whether Isme was in charge of the children or not. He believes the father was with the boys earlier in the day.
“They talk about my client being with the children. That was earlier in the day…three in the afternoon when they were fishing. The car incident happened later in the day and they both returned. My client picked up the mother of the children at 3 o’clock in the morning and they both returned together,” said Hecker.
He did, however, say it was the mother who left candles burning in the boy’s closet which eventually lead to the deadly fire.
“The candles were lit by the mother, they were placed inside a closet with a sheet over it. She placed it high in the closet so the boys could not get to the candle,” said Hecker.
The judge set Isme’s bond at $50,000.
Lauderhill Police told CBS 4 News that Isme was home alone with his sons while their mother Melanie Harvey was at work . Police said Harvey had car trouble and called Isme which is when he allegedly left the home,according to investigators.
Isme had little to say about the accusation that he left his boys alone.
“I didn’t hear that,” he said.
But a 9-1-1 call made in the moments after the fire tells a different story. Justin Isme was speaking with a woman who reported the early morning fire. She asked the boy questions about what happened.
CALLER: “Where’s your mom?”
BOY: “She was at work. My dad was here.”
CALLER: “Where’s your dad?”
CALLER: “Your dad left?”
BOY: “My dad left us.”
According to the boys’ grandfather, the 8-year-old woke up first and alerted his older brother but he said that Jayden was reluctant to jump out the window after his older brother, Justin.
The Department of Children and Families placed Justin with one of his teachers. Harvey’s family is furious that the boy is not with his mom.
“All she did was go to work trying to feed her kids. She was working two jobs the day her son died,” said the boy’s grandfather. He went on to say Isme is to blame, “She left her baby in his hands,” he said, “and then her baby died.”
Harvey is allowed to have supervised visits with the surviving son. The judge told their mother she may have to take parenting classes and cooperate with the court if she wants to regain permanent custody of her surviving child at a later time.
As for Isme, his Facebook page is a memorial to his son who died. There are pleas for donations to help pay for funeral expenses as well as prayers and wishes from dozens of people. In his brief interview with CBS 4 News, Isme alluded to the challenges of the past several days.
“A lot of things tough in life,” he said. “A lot of things tough but it is what it is.”