7-Year-Old Boy Dies After Photo Was Snapped Of His Killer

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A picture was taken of a smiling 7-year-old boy minutes before his tragic death. To his mother’s horror, she would look back at the photo and realize that it had inadvertently captured his killer as well.

Marlene Bitencourt
Marlene Bitencourt lost her son, and his killer was captured in a photo. (Photo Credit: Facebook)

There is nothing more painful than losing a child, especially when the circumstances were completely avoidable. Sadly, Marlene Bitencourt has learned the hardest lesson of all, and she’s using the last photo of her young son as a desperate warning to parents everywhere in the hopes that it will prevent at least one death.

At just 7 years old, Arthur Bitencourt was a perfectly healthy little boy with a lifetime ahead of him. Tragically, his life was taken in an instant after his parents unknowingly exposed him to a silent and deceptive killer, the Daily Mail reports.

Arthur Bitencourt, 7, was pronounced dead on arrival at a local hospital. (Photo Credit: Facebook)

Arthur’s family is grieving his loss while warning others to avoid his fate. The family posted a seemingly innocuous photo memorializing the boy’s last moments playing in a heap of what looks like snow. However, the powdery mounds surrounding him are actually composed of an incredibly toxic substance that took his life in mere minutes.

The photo captures Arthur sitting in a massive pile of limestone dust while grinning and giving a double thumbs-up. The boy had playfully jumped into the mounds, which were left exposed on the family’s property in Ipiranga, Brazil. His parents were unaware of the danger. Minutes after, his family rushed him to the hospital with breathing trouble. He would be pronounced dead on arrival.

“This photo was taken a few minutes before his tragic death caused by limestone inhalation while he played,” Arthur’s uncle Romaldo Bitencourt said. “Our gratitude to GOD for putting Arthur in our life a treasure, who stayed with us for seven years, one month and ten days,” he said in a separate post. “Life is like a moving train, but our dear and beloved son, brother, nephew, cousin, grandson, went down (landed) still in the beginning of the journey.”

Marlene Bitencourt
Marlene Bitencourt says she was unaware of the dangers of limestone dust. (Photo Credit: Facebook)

In pebble form, limestone poses no health hazard. However, when crushed, it becomes incredibly dangerous. If sedentary, pulverized limestone is fairly harmless. However, once the powder is stirred up, it can quickly prove deadly. Comprised of crystalline silica (quartz), pulverized limestone can cause irreversible and possibly fatal silicosis, which is why workers are urged to wear an approved respirator with adequate ventilation and to limit exposure to avoid inhalation of the carcinogenic.

Police launched an investigation into Arthur’s death. The boy was buried the day after, and his family took to social media to mourn and plead with others to stay away from the toxic substance, which can cause skin irritation, eye damage, lung problems, cancer, and even death.

Some social media users have blamed the family for negligence while others have said they too were unaware of how dangerous limestone dust can be. (Photo Credit: Facebook)

The case appears to be an unfortunate mistake. Still, many have taken to social media to blame the parents for their son’s tragic death. Many have accused the family of negligence, claiming that it’s common knowledge that limestone dust is dangerous. However, others have openly admitted that they didn’t know the dangers of inhaling the substance until reading about Arthur’s death.

Regardless, a little boy is dead, and there may be others who don’t understand how hazardous the substance is when in powder form. Hopefully, Arthur’s death can serve as a warning to parents to teach their children about the dangers of the seemingly harmless killer.