Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dad "suspected" in death of 1-year-old daughter is fighting for custody of surviving 3-year-old son (Kalamazoo, Michigan)

Was JARROD ELLIOT a custodial dad at the time of his 1-year-old daughter's death under, supposedly, "inconclusive" circumstances? This account is vague in the extreme, but it sure sounds like this was the case.  

Some questions:

1) If Elliot did have custody, how did this father gain and retain custody despite previous allegations of child abuse?

2) Why do the police continue to drag out the "investigation" of this case and refuse to press charges? Who is responsible?

3) Why is DHS back pedaling on everything?

At first they conceded he was, at minimum, "neglectful," in the baby's death, but then they suddenly backed off and said the autopsy was "inconclusive."

At first, they wanted to terminate his parental rights, and now they're big on a "custody plan" that would protect his rights to the son he hasn't killed yet?

What the hell? Who is protecting this father and why?

And even if Daddy's BS story was right, this guy is an idiot. Swinging around a 1 year-old hard enough to kill her?

Something pretty sucky is going on in Michigan, and it sounds like entrenched fathers' rights  influence and deal pedaling. Somebody is protecting and helping this loser, big time.


Custody decision delayed for father after Pavillion Township toddler's death

Updated: Tuesday, May 6 2014, 04:36 PM EDT

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A West Michigan man is back in court just six months after his small child died while under his care.

Jarrod Elliot was in Kalamazoo County Family Court Tuesday, continuing the custody battle for his 3-year-old son Jaydin.

The move to suspend parental rights comes six months after his daughter, 1-year-old Ava Jones, passed away in November of last year.

Investigators say Elliot was with Ava the night she was found dead in her crib at a mobile home in Pavillion Township.

The judge put off a decision Tuesday, until more reports could be gathered on the case.

Meanwhile, there was a big show from little Ava's family outside the courthouse, claiming Elliot is responsible for her death.

The childrens' mother, Emily Jones, along with her family, made their presence known outside the court.

"I want her story to be known, because it's not fair," Jones said.

While the group made themselves heard, the hearing was postponed until a trauma report on Jaydin was submitted by a child psychologist.

There were big changes in court, however, for the petitions in the case.

Originally the Department of Human Services, claimed Elliot was neglectful in regards to Ava's death, but that petition was changed to show her autopsy was inconclusive.

The second petition called for a termination of Elliot's parental rights, but Tuesday, DHS amended it to show the state is willing to work out a custody plan.

"I got what I want, but at the same time, I didn't," Jones said. "We were hoping to terminate his rights."

Elliot says he was rough-housing with Ava, and she hit her head while being swung around.

But Jones doesn't believe that story.

"It's very hard, because she was my little girl," Jones said. "She was very loved."

Elliot's attorney says there's no proof that Ava's father caused her death, and the action in court Tuesday reflects that.

He says Elliot has been deeply affected by this, and is fighting for his rights to see Jaydin.

Ava's family says they don't believe this has been investigated properly, and are frustrated with the legal system, especially considering Elliot was investigated for child abuse before Ava's death.

"I hope he will come to an end and admit what he did," Jones said. "She was very loved."

No criminal charges have been filed against Elliot, because the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office is still investigating.

The case will pick back up next month.