JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - A father in Bentonia is desperately trying to keep his daughter in Mississippi, but a bitter court battle with the child's mother is set to change that. He feared the toddler will end up with a stepfather who has abused her before.
A judge in Utah has ordered 3 year old Kinlee return to that state to live with her mother immediately. It is the latest chapter in a ongoing placement battle.
"My father has done so much for his granddaughter where it has come to the point that he's maxed out his credit cards on attorneys. He took out another $10,000 loan on our land for attorneys. We've done everything in our powers to keep her here," said the father Curtis Foster.
The parents share joint custody, but Foster has his concerns. The mother, Megan Thomas, has spent time behind bars for theft and forgery. When Kinlee was two Thomas's husband spanked her so hard she bruised. The Department of Human Services got involved. A text message revealed in court documents that the step father even threatened to kill the toddler.
"I'm not going to have someone abuse my daughter at all. I'm trying to look out for the safety of my daughter's life and that's not a fit mother and that's not a fit father," said Foster.
Under court order the step father is not allowed to be alone with the little girl. Foster has cared for her in Mississippi since that incident back in April 2009. Then on Thursday, under the suggestion of a guardian at litem, a judge ruled it was now safe for the girl to return to her mother in Utah. The guardian at litem never spoke with Foster or his family.
"I work and I live and I come home for her. She's the only thing that matters right now to me. I'll keep fighting for my daughter," said Foster.
An attorney in Utah is working to stay the court order in hopes of keeping Foster's daughter in Mississippi while further placement hearings are held. Foster is now searching for a local attorney to help with this case.
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