Late Friday afternoon, a judge stripped a mother of custody of a 9-year-old boy, three days after the boy’s father and sister died in a fire in Charlotte County.
The judge called this situation a tragedy and felt he had to do something.
The Department of Children and Families, The Children’s Network, and the boy’s guardian ad litem went to court out of concern the 9-year-old boy’s mother could not properly care for him.
They cited her history of drug abuse, and WINK News learned during court proceedings that investigators found a meth pipe, a meth torch, and a lighter on a bed near where the fire started.
The state fire marshal has not officially determined the cause of the fire. Two people died, father and daughter. Their bodies were found next to each other.
The mother and son escaped but suffered burns.
DCF has a history of removing kids from these parents’ care. The judge ordered when the boy is able to go home from the hospital, he will be placed in the care of his maternal grandmother.
The judge feared putting the boy in foster care would not be good for his mental health. His grandmother also lived in the apartment building that caught fire, which right now is not liveable.
She’s staying in a hotel, and that’s where the boy will stay as well when he’s able.
The judge did say his mother could visit her son.