James Ozian-Chapon: Florida boy, 3, dies as mom's boyfriend rams car into tree after kidnapping him
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA: A toddler died on Thursday, July 15, after his mother's boyfriend kidnapped him and fled in a car that subsequently crashed and caught fire. Identified as James Oizan-Chapon, the boy was snatched from the Plantation suburb in Fort Lauderdale of Florida after the boy's mother, Yasmin Cid, got into an argument with her boyfriend Ryan Yates. According to the boy's grandmother Maria Cid, as Yates was speeding off from the scene around 3.30 am that day, the 25-year-old allegedly lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree. The car immediately went up in flames, killing the two on the spot, Plantation Police Department told local outlet WPLG-TV.
News of this harrowing incident comes two weeks after a Wyoming man was accused of brutally murdering his girlfriend's 2-year-old boy and dumping his body in a dumpster. A New Jersey mom was also found dead in the woods all the way in Tennessee after she and her son were kidnapped by the boy's father, who eventually confessed to killing her. Before that, an Iowa father of two young sons was accused of killing them before taking his own life on July 5. In the case of Oizan-Chapon, his mother chased the vehicle he was snatched in but it was too late.
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Who was James Oizan-Chapon?
The three-year-old boy, who died after the vehicle he was kidnapped in crashed into a tree, has been fondly described as a "handful" by his family members. Local witness Elizabeth Velasco told the outlet: "I heard two booming sounds right after the crash and then a woman screaming for her baby. She was like, 'My baby! My baby!' I actually started crying when I heard that because I felt really helpless."
The boy's aunt Tiffany Velasquez was the one to describe him as a fun-loving child, in an interview with NBC Miami. "James was a handful," Velasquez said. "He was fun, he was fearless. He jumped into everything. He made a huge mess of everything. He loved chicken nuggets." She added: "It's just so unfortunate and he did not deserve that. He deserved the opportunity to live a full, beautiful life. It's just very hard. Very hard." Speaking of the emotional toll it's taken on her, Velasquez said: "Honestly it's been the worst day of my life. This is not something anybody prepares you for."
Velasquez has also set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the deceased toddler's funeral and memorial. "Our little boy, died tragically in a car accident. As you can imagine, no family ever prepares for a tragedy like this," she wrote on the fundraiser page's description section, adding: "We are asking for support at this difficult time, both financial and emotional so that we may honor his short life. Thank you all for your support, messages of condolences, prayers and contributions." Till now, more than $14K has been raised in the fundraiser that aimed to raise $12K.
The boy's kidnapper, Yates, reportedly had an extensive criminal history, with charges as recent as February this year. The charges form earlier this year included battery, domestic battery by strangulation and robbery, with Yates expected to stand trial in August.