Father of Inglewood boy whose body was found in pool at public park demands answers

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- The father of a 9-year-old boy whose body was found in a public pool has a lot of questions about what happened to his son.

Zavier Portis reportedly wandered away from his mother's car while the family was visiting the Edward Vincent Junior Park in Inglewood. He was found at the bottom of a pool a few hours after he was reported missing.

"It kills me that my son wound up in the bottom of a pool and how'd he get in the pool...I don't know that either," Zedric Portis, Zavier's father said.

Investigators are trying to determine how a young boy managed to get into the public pool.

According to Inglewood police, Zavier, who has autism and doesn't speak, wandered away from his mother's parked car Sunday afternoon around 4 p.m.

Police said the mother told them she went to get a drink of water and when she returned Zavier was gone. Her two other children were still in the car.

"He's always playful. He's always...he listened to me more than anything. He makes you happy. He's funny in certain ways and he had a beautiful heart," Zedric said.

"He was a beautiful boy. He had a beautiful spirit, almost angelic. You just love him...he leaves you with so much warmth. The most amazing love you could ever find was in that child," said Mahasin Portis, Zavier's stepmother.

Portis said his son was in foster care and that he and Zavier's mother had visitation rights. He said he was working on regaining custody of Zavier.

He says he found out about his son's death on the news Sunday night and he wants to know how something like this could happen.

"How'd he get in the pool? Those are my concerns. How did he get in that gate?" Portis asked.

A statement from the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services read: "State law protects the confidentiality of records for all children and families that come to the attention of child protective services, and prohibits confirming whether a child or family has been involved with the department, the status of any case and the status of any potential siblings. These laws are intended to protect the privacy of siblings or family members and to respect sensitive family matters."
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