Woman fighting for custody after Florida homicide

According to reports, a 43-year-old woman is doing her utmost to be reunited with her 7-year-old daughter after the woman's ex-husband, who had primary custody of the girl, was arrested for murder of the girl's grandmother.

In this tragic child custody case, even though the mother, who is the non-custodial parent, traveled to Florida to be with her daughter, the 7-year-old has been placed with a family friend. This is likely due to the the tragic circumstances surrounding the case, coupled with a pending Florida Department of Children and Families decision. According to reports the couple married in 2006 and had their daughter the same year. However, they divorced in 2010. This is not an uncommon situation, but what happened next was quite out of the ordinary. Police believe the father murdered his own mother, sending the family unit into disarray.

Prior to this recent alleged homicide, the father was given full custody of his daughter after his divorce. The mother, at the time of her divorce, believed that it was in the best interests of the child to be with her grandmother and father. Shortly thereafter, the mother left Florida, and returned to her native state of Maryland. She visited Florida every two months or so to exercise her parenting time. Furthermore, the mother apparently spoke with her daughter on a nightly basis. The last time the mother saw her daughter was during Christmas 2013.

Florida DCF alleges that they contacted the mother several years ago. The mother, however, was not sure what DCF was referring to. However, the mother indicated that she is presently planning on staying in Florida until the child custody issue with her 7-year-old is resolved. If she were to be granted custody of her daughter, the mother has indicated that she will likely move back to Maryland with the girl and unite her with her other siblings.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, "Mother of Clearwater girl whose grandmother was slain wants custody," Laura C. Morel, Feb. 28, 2014

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