MIAMI (CBSMiami) – An eight-year-old boy who fell to his death from the 12th floor of a luxury condo in Aventura was in South Florida visiting relatives.
Aventura police said Justin Fernandes-Pedra and his brother and father were visiting from Aruba and getting ready to go to Walt Disney World.
The tragic accident happened Thursday afternoon at the Echo building off NE 188th Street where the child’s mother has a penthouse condo.
The boy was reportedly playing hide and seek with this brother and made his way up to the 12th floor, which is also the roof of the condo, before police say he jumped off the building.
Fernandes-Pedra was flown to Joe DiMaggio’s Children’s Hospital but did not make it.
“It just makes me really sad. I have a nine-year-old boy, a six-year-old daughter, and a three-year-old daughter and just seeing that, it’s very painful,” said Michael Manur.
CBS4’s Peter D’Oench spoke with parents who were picking up their children Friday afternoon at the Aventura City of Excellence School across the street from the Echo Luxury Condo. All of them had also been in line just after 3 p.m. on Thursday when this tragedy happened.
Orly Leiz said, “This is a terrible story. I can’t take my mind off of it. I am heartbroken. I was here in line waiting for my daughter when this happened.”
Beatriz Vega said, “We as parents I mean I have an 8-year-old child. I am heartbroken. To play a game of hide and seek on the top floor that is kind of dangerous.”
Another parent, Munirah Rimer, said “I think it is terrible what happened. I was right in front of the building at the time. I used to live in another building with a wrap around balcony and I was always in fear for my child and what could happen if I ever got busy and lost site of them or if anything happened when I was distracted.”
She said, “Sometimes you don’t know what is going on with your children but you have to do so much more. There is not enough time to tell your kids be careful. Be careful in that type of building.”
D’Oench also spoke with the child’s mother but she said she did not want to say anything right now.
The community will hold a candlelight vigil at 7 Sunday night at Peace Park. A small makeshift memorial is growing. On Friday afternoon, some Aventura teenagers placed candles on a sidewalk by a fence at the park.
Aventura Police say they are investigating but they say this appears to have been an accident.