Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mom with no custody order loses all contact with 2-year-old son after facilitating visitation with dad; doesn't see boy again until he is "allegedly" murdered by dad (League City, Texas)

A lot of ignorant, mother-blaming comments accompany this article. The obviously, the FRs and their minions are out in droves with their usual disinformation campaign.

In reality, this murder is traceable to fathers rights political gains. It used to be that an unmarried mother automatically had custody rights to her own children. No more--thanks to fathers rights. In addition, mothers are under considerable pressure to "involve" the father--no matter what his history of violence or criminality. This pressure is reinforced by both the culture (children need a FATHER!) and by the family courts. If a mother refuses to facilitate visitation, even without a court order, she is a terrible risk of losing custody for being an "alienator." This pressure has only increased due to fathers rights agitation and legislative victories.

Once again, let's go by what we know.

1) Babies and infants do not benefit from extensive visitation with a non-custodial parent. It only confuses them, adds stress, and creates potential bonding problems.

2) Fathers with histories of domestic violence should not have custody or visitation with children, especially vulnerable babies and toddlers. Their tendency towards violence, now amplified by their anger/resentment towards the mother for leaving him, makes these kids into sitting ducks for horrendous abuse or even violent death. Just as this one was. Family courts and child protection agencies desperately need to get this, and mothers should be encouraged/supported NOT to involve daddy if he is unsafe.

3) We need to go back to the old way of doing things--which is that unmarried mothers are AUTOMATICALLY granted custody rights over the babies they give birth to. No automatic rights for some vengeful sperm donor who decides he's going to "punish" mom by taking the baby away--only to leave the mother with no legal recourse.

Dad is identified as DEREK WELLS.

Mother of Dominic Wells talks about trying to find her son

Katrina DeBoard says she spent more than a year trying to find her son, only to learn he'd been hospitalized with severe brain injuries.

The two-year-old died earlier this week. Katrina DeBoard contends that because she had no custody orders, officials refused to help her find her son.

The boy's father is being held in the 2-year-old's death

Katrina DeBoard and her husband were in the parking lot of their apartment complex in Oklahoma City Thursday when a police officer approached her and gave her a piece of paper with a detective's phone number and a message that her long-missing 2-year-old son, Dominic, was in a hospital in Houston with serious injuries.

DeBoard, 31, said it had been more than a year since she last saw her son. She'd given the little boy to a woman that his father, Derek Wells, an Marine vet, was living with in North Carolina for a visit in May 2013.

When she saw him again around 4 a.m. Friday, after frantically driving all night, it was too late. After days on life support, after repeated brain scans, her son had gone into cardiac arrest.

"I never would've imagined, in two years, the only way I'd see my son again was him being cold," she said, wiping her eyes Saturday.

League City police said earlier this week that they first discovered Dominic on Tuesday afternoon, after Wells called them and told them the boy was injured.

Authorities took Wells to the Clear Lake Regional Medical Center and then transferred him to Texas Children's Hospital, where he died a few days later.

"There was no question this was more than just a kid in a garage that was a heat casualty," said Sgt. David Hausam.

Police arrested Derek Wells on Wednesday. According to police, he and his son had been living in the unfurnished garage of a home on Redwood Drive. He has been charged with injury of a child, a first-degree felony, and is currently in jail on $100,000 bail.

DeBoard said she first met Wells in the fall of 2010 in California, where she was living at the time. He was a motor transport operator stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

They learned they'd gotten pregnant a month later, the same day Wells was discharged.

They bounced across the country, from home to home, staying with his family in Arkansas, in Pennsylvania and with friends in North Carolina.

Along the way, their relationship soured.

"Our relationship the whole time was up and down," she said Saturday, hours after arranging to have her son's body cremated. "It was really rollercoastery... but for the most part, what I can remember was bad."

At first, she'd liked his sense of humor and his giving nature, but that gave way to a sharp temper, she said.

"He was always been a violent person, always had anger issues," she said.

They split up shortly after moving to North Carolina in the fall of 2012, she said.

Dominic would spend weekends with his father, who was living with a couple nearby. On May 9, 2013, DeBoard took her son to get a haircut. Shortly after he got his hair trimmed, she gave him to the woman with whom Derek Wells had been living.

"I told him I loved him and I'd see him in a week," she said.

That was the last she saw of Dominic, she said. She made entreaties over the past year to see him, and speaking with Wells' family, with military police, with sheriff's deputies in North Carolina, even the FBI, she said. Authorities told her that because she didn't have a court order, they weren't going to do anything, that it sounded like a simple custody battle, she said.

"That was infuriating," she said.

A call to a public affairs officer at Camp Lejeune, where DeBoard said Wells was last stationed, was not returned Saturday. The Onslow County Sheriff's Office had no record of any reports filed regarding Dominic Wells.

Valerie Davenport, Wells' mother, declined to speak to The Chronicle. The couple with whom Wells was living did not respond to emails or other messages seeking comment.

She kept trying to track down Wells and Dominic, even after marrying an Army vet and moving to Oklahoma City, where she got a job at a Dollar General. The couple he had been living with told her they'd moved to Ohio, she said. Later, she would learn Derek had been staying at their home southeast of Houston.

On Facebook, she posted MISSING notices, with pictures of the pair, and even consulted with a private investigator.

On Dec. 17, 2013, DeBoard wrote on her Facebook wall, "I keep seeing all these posts about what people want for Christmas, and what their wishes are.......You know what my Christmas wish is? My Christmas wish is to find my son."

On Thursday, as they were driving to Houston, they got a call.

Dominic was brain dead, they told her.

"They kept him on life support, trying to see if he could hold out 'til I got there," she said.

But when they finally arrived at 4:12 a.m., it was too late. He was gone. The plump-cheeked baby who'd love to play "Come catch me" and steal food off her plate when they were eating, was covered with bruises and scratches.

"What hurts most is whether my eyes are open or closed, all I can see is my son's face with all those tubes and stuff in him," she said, weeping. "That's the worst part."