Welcome back and thanks for joining us again. As we mentioned in the previous article, the judicial system is not perfect. Judges are human beings with biases and life experiences that affect their perspectives, which in turn impacts the decisions they make in court. Since most judges today grew up in an era when moms stayed home and dads went to work (which meant that custody was awarded to mothers over fathers in most cases), that mentality can affect the custody choices they make – sometimes without them even realizing it. Which may have been the case in this tragic case from Brighton, Michigan…
One father fought for his daughter – and lost!
On September 11, 2017, a frightened father called the Shelby Township Police for help. When officers arrived at his home, he said he had seen his 3-year-old daughter’s mother tried to strangle their little girl, Izabella. He showed the cops pictures of the bruises on the child’s neck and asked them for help. The cops handed the case over to CPS and left. But court records show that wasn’t the only call Nathan made about his daughter’s safety. Records show he reported the girl’s mother burned her with a hairdryer, ignored her cries for help in a too-hot bath, and threw on the ground one day and told Izabella she hated her.
Nathan was so worried about how his ex treated their daughter!
But when the couple parted ways and Melissa Partee moved out, she took her daughter with her. Nathan was so worried, because he knew what she was capable of. He filed for custody, and reported Melissa to the cops whenever he saw evidence of abuse, and explained to the Judge the mental health problems Melissa struggled with. In short, he did everything he could to get his daughter to safety. But the court sided with Melissa, who denied the allegations and claimed that Nathan was simply making it all up to avoid paying child support.
When Melissa failed to show up for a custody exchange…
Nathan had supervised visitation only, despite having done everything in his power to get custody of his daughter. But when Melissa didn’t show up to deliver Izabella for his visitation time, he was worried and called the cops again, requesting a welfare check. When cops showed up at her apartment, they discovered a grisly scene. Melissa had drugged and then strangled Izabella to death, and then shot herself in the head with a revolver.
Many things could have been done differently in this case.
Izabella’s mom could have been given the mental health care she so obviously needed. The court could have listened to Nathan and given him custody of his daughter. The cops could have stepped in sooner. CPS could have seen the warning signs that were so clearly written on the wall, and petitioned to have Bella removed from her mother’s custody and given to her father. But shoulda’, woulda’, coulda’ doesn’t help now. Izabella is dead and Nathan is heartbroken. His daughter is gone forever, all because of a tragedy that could easily have been prevented, if only the court had listened, and there hadn’t been biases in the system.
Fighting the system is hard, but you’re not alone.
Cases like this are all too frequent these days. Parents are up against all kinds of hurdles when trying to work out custody agreements that keep their children safe. But despite the challenges involved, you don’t have to fight this battle alone. Call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 today and speak to one of our experienced child custody attorneys. We’ve spent years helping Michigan parents address custody and visitation orders with great results. We can help you too.