The North Miami Beach police department has released the recording of a 911 call related to the beating death of two-year-old Ezra Raphael.
The night of June 20th, Claude Alexis, 32, was taking care of Ezra, while mother Cierrah Raphael, 22, went out to solicit sex, police say.
Here are excerpts of the call:
Operator: What is your emergency?
Alexis: I'm not sure. I'm scared. I'm not sure. My son is throwing up.
Operator: Tell me exactly what happened.
Alexis: I don't know, I don't know ma'am.
A few days later, Alexis told police he had hit the boy in the back and buttocks with a belt. The medical examiner ruled Ezra died of blunt force trauma.
Operator: Okay, is he awake?
Alexis: I'm not sure ma'am.
Operator: What do you mean you're not sure?
Alexis: Ezra! Ezra! He's sleeping I guess.
Alexis: Do you hear him?
Operator: Is that him?
Operator: Okay, I need for you to get him up. I need for you to try and wake him up.
Alexis: I tried. I tried everything. I threw water on him and everything, ma'am.
Alexis: I don't know what the hell to do, ma'am. I'm just panicking right now. Woooh.
Operator: Is the baby responding at all?
Alexis: No, he's not responding. He's still sleeping like he's knocked out.
Police and paramedics arrived at Alexis' North Miami Beach home at 15664 NE 10th Court within 12 minutes, but could not revive the boy, who was unconscious on the dining room floor.
Shaniqua Newkirk said she lived with Cierrah Raphael at the home of her former foster mother Debra Elder with Ezra.
"Once he went with that man and her, when I found that out, it was over," Newkirk said.
Elder was the boy's primary caregiver in Miami Gardens, even though Raphael had legal custody.
"She was hardly here, but she did come visit him, she didn't skip like months and months at a time without seeing him," said Dubois Scott, Elder's son who would sometimes help care for Ezra.
In 2012, Elder's best friend Elizabeth Wims took Ezra to Gainesville. Wims returned the boy to Elder this past April. In May, the child's mother decided to take him back.
"Cierrah, his mom, got him on his birthday and said she was going to have a birthday party for him and he never returned from his birthday party," Scott said.
Ezra was pronounced dead at Jackson Hospital North a few weeks after his second birthday.
More Local Stories: