A 7-year-old girl is in the care of an unrelated caregiver after a brutal killing in her home. The child’s mother has traveled from her home in Maryland to seek child custody rights in the case after the tragic incident, which occurred in a Florida residence. Authorities say that the 43-year-old woman is seeking child custody after the girl’s father allegedly killed that child’s grandmother.
Official reports show that the child’s father accosted the grandmother with a variety of objects, attempting to choke her with several implements and injure her with a box cutter. The defendant ultimately is accused of hitting that woman’s head with a sledgehammer, causing fatal injuries. The defendant then took his daughter to a friend’s house before turning himself in at police headquarters in the Clearwater area. So far, the child’s mother has not been allowed to contact her daughter.
The mother divorced the child’s father in 2010 after a four-year marriage. The man was granted full custody; his ex-wife said she thought the girl would be better off in that relatively stable home. The mother said that she did not have a steady income, and she was impoverished at the time of the divorce. As a result, she decided that it would be in the best interests of the child to stay in Florida. The woman did not have a frequent visitation schedule, but she saw the child several times per year and often spoke to her on the phone.
Child custody disputes that arise because of violent crime may be difficult for all parties involved. The woman in this case has indicated that patience will be the key to recovering her child, but the outcome remains uncertain. Maryland family attorneys may be able to assist parents who are attempting to retrieve their children from such dangerous circumstances.
Source: Tampa Bay Times, “Mother of Clearwater girl whose grandmother was slain wants custody” Laura C. Morel, Feb. 28, 2014