Double murder results in difficult child custody dispute

Countless families are affected by unexpected death and loss every year. In Salt Lake City, Utah, some children are placed in the middle of child custody disputes in the event that one or both parents pass away. And already difficult situations can be compounded by such family law issues when there are conflicts between remaining family members. A child custody dispute is currently underway to determine the future of one little girl who recently lost her father under violent circumstances.

The case is playing out in Texas, where a divorced couple was fighting over custody rights to their four-year-old daughter. The child’s father filed complaints against the parents of his ex-wife in the fall of 2013, claiming that he had been assaulted and threatened by his ex-wife’s father in one incident. Ultimately, however, law enforcement did not file any charges against the child’s maternal grandparents.

In January of this year, the child’s father and his wife were shot and killed after participating in a supervised visit with the little girl at a church. The double-homicide investigation is still ongoing, but authorities suspect that the child custody dispute may be a factor in the crime.

A new child custody dispute is now going on between Child Protective Services (CPS) and the little girl’s maternal grandparents since CPS has raised concerns over the safety of the child. The trial date for the custody case was pushed back, and the little girl’s mother was appointed legal representation. The specific nature of the concerns raised by CPS was not cited.

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