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Woman Whose Daughter Was Murdered Loses Legal Custody Of Her Two Sons

An Iowa woman whose 5-year-old daughter was kidnapped and killed in 2005 has been ordered to give up her parental rights to her two sons, who have been in foster care since their sister’s murder. Miller has been granted one more visit with her sons, ages 2 and 3, who will become eligible for adoption.

The boys’ sister, Evelyn, then 5, disappeared from their apartment in July 2005. Miller says that she came home after her overnight job to discover the front door partially open and her boyfriend and their two sons asleep. A massive search ensued, and Evelyn’s body was eventually found in the Cedar River. Her death was declared a homicide. No charges have been filed in connection to her murder and the investigation continues to this day.

Casey Frederiksen, the father of the boys, voluntarily signed away his parental rights, but Miller, who has been hospitalized for mental health problems, opposed the juvenile judge’s decision that she give up her children. According to the judge, the two boys had spent more than six months removed from their parents’ physical custody and that neither parent had kept up a significant amount of meaningful contact or tried to resume caring for them.

Frederiksen is serving time in prison for a child pornography conviction. His friend Danny Slick, who was one of the last people to see Evelyn alive the night she disappeared, has pleaded guilty to making false statements to the police investigating her death. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 21, 2007.

If a court finds that a child is not safe living with his or her parents, they may be taken away from their parents’ physical custody. The child, at this point, may be declared a dependent of the court, and the court can decide:

· Where a child will live.
· Who will take care of the child.
· How much access the biological parents will have to the child.

In juvenile dependency cases that take place in California, a judge evaluates these kinds of cases each year. One of the purposes of these evaluations is to see whether it makes sense to return the child to the parent’s legal and physical care. If reunification proves impossible, a “permanent plan” will be developed to allow the child to be adopted, appointed a legal guardian, or placed in foster care, and the parent loses his or her parental rights.

Sagaria Law, P.C. represents clients in juvenile dependency, legal guardianship, adoption, child custody, and other family law related matters. Our clients come from San Jose, Monterey, Fremont, Santa Clara, Carmel, Palo Alto, Morgan Hill, Oakland, as well from other cities in Monterey County, Alameda County, and Santa Clara County. Contact Sagaria Law, P.C. today.

Noel Miller Loses Custody of Children, WCF Courier.com, February 16, 2007

Related Web Resource:

Juvenile Dependency, California Courts: Self-Help Center
Termination of Parental Rights, National Center for State Courts