Mike Tyson and his girlfriend, Sol Xochitl, faced a tragic loss in 2009 when their daughter, Exodus, died at age 4. The little girl became caught in a treadmill cord in her Phoenix home, and died at the local hospital.
Exodus died May 26, 2009, nearly 12 years to date, according to her obituary.
A new documentary, “Mike Tyson: The Knockout,” digs into his life and the tragedy. The two-part documentary airs on ABC at 8 p.m. Eastern time May 25 and June 1, 2021.
Here’s what you need to know:
Exodus’ Older Brother, Miguel Leon, Found His Sister Caught in the Cord
Miguel Leon was only 7 years old when he found his sister tangled up in the cord of a treadmill, ABC News reported. Exodus was playing when she fell into the cord, which “acted like a noose,” police said in a statement at the time. Tyson was in Las Vegas at the time and flew out to Phoenix as soon as he was notified, appearing at the hospital where Exodus was on life support before she died, the news outlet reported.
Miguel found his sister and alerted his mother, who was in another room. She took the little girl off the cord, called 911 and tried to revive her with CPR, ABC News reported.
The mother was cleaning the house, and Exodus was in the play room. She sent her son in to check on his sister, and found her “in distress,” police said in a statement summarized by ABC. The statement said further that the mother initially thought Exodus had been electrocuted. Exodus was unresponsive when first responders arrived and continued life-saving efforts.
She was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, where she died.
Police Determined Exodus’ Death Was ‘a Tragic Accident’ & 911 Tapes Captured the Chilling Call
Phoenix Police investigated the death of Exodus, and determined that it was accidental. Police described it as “a tragic accident,” according to ABC News.
“Somehow, she was playing on this treadmill, and there’s a cord that hangs under the console; it’s kind of a loop,” said police Sgt. Andy Hill. “Either she slipped or put her head in the loop, but it acted like a noose, and she was obviously unable to get herself off of it.”
The New York Daily News reported the mother called 911, telling a dispatcher, “My baby! She’s choked!”
Tyson issued a statement at the time of her death, quoted by ABC News.
The Tyson family would like to extend our deepest and most heartfelt thanks for all your prayers and support, and we ask that we be allowed our privacy at this difficult time. There are no words to describe the tragic loss of our beloved Exodus.
Consumer Reports described the death as “preventable” and issued a reminder about treadmill safety.
“Tyson’s daughter’s injuries serve as a sad and serious reminder of the dangers that home exercise equipment can pose to children. If you have any in your home, make sure the equipment is unplugged and out of a child’s reach, and keep young children away from equipment without safety locks. Children should especially be kept away from exercise equipment when it is in use,” Consumer Reports wrote.
Tyson Called Exodus His ‘Angel’ & Spoke About His First Reaction to the News She Had Died
Tyson called Exodus his “Angel” and told Oprah Winfrey he did not want to know how she died. After learning she had died, he told the news outlet “my first instinct was a lot of rage.”
“If I know, then there might be a blame for it,” he said on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
“If somebody’s to blame for it, there will be a problem,” he continued.
He said his family is his “biggest asset” and said he is grateful to have the coping mechanisms to not react violently.
“I was so happy that I had the tools in life, you know, to not go in that direction,” he told Oprah. “Because I’ve been [in] that direction. I know where that’s gonna lead me. I know I’m not gonna win.”