Kids Taken By CPS and Denying Grandmother and Father Rights.
On July 31, 2020, our granddaughter’s mother and her father came to our residence shortly after the court hearing for custody. At that court hearing, in the presence of our lawyer, she agreed to leave our granddaughter at our house for the weekend due to a family birthday party for our 1-year-old granddaughter. It was typical for us to keep ET every weekend from Friday till Sunday. When she arrived, I was in the house picking up toys and getting ready for dinner, while our 13-year-old granddaughter, my sister’s 13-year-old granddaughter, a 13-year-old friend of the family, and 3-year-old ET was swimming in the pool. My husband was outside with the grandchildren. I did not know ETs mom was present until I heard ET crying for me. I came out of the bedroom to find her in my dining room with ET. She started yelling at me for letting her swim before dinner. I told her to leave the house and immediately called 911. I spoke with the dispatcher which instructed me to stay in the bedroom.
I told her I had the door locked to the bedroom and the outside door. But I also told her that the rest of my family was outside with ETs mom and her father. I then saw her father back his truck up to our detached garage and get out with HS (ETs sibling). I said I was fearful due to a prior assault on my 76-year-old mother in law by ETs mom.
And since I knew her father very well, I knew that he always carried a gun, even though he was a felon. Which GAL later pointed out it was a 40-year-old felon. I’m not sure if that really matters. But nothing really does with CPS, if they are biased against you for one reason or another, as I would soon find out. Earlier at the custody hearing, the social worker had lied on the stand, saying she did not go get the children out of mom’s house with a police escort. Even though, she told my husband that before she went.
She said she knew how violent mom was, so she was taking law enforcement. At about the same time I got a call from the daycare owner saying she heard the same thing on the scanner.
The Social worker, Jessica Embrey told the judge they were at the residence on an unrelated matter. My husband told the judge about the conversation. I think that is the moment we realized the corruption. The hearing should have been in family court, however, the judge, Susan Riffle, asked ETs mom if she thought it would be biased because my husband works in the courthouse and asked if she wanted it moved to the circuit court with Judge Patrick Wilson and said it needed to be since she had adjudication. So I’m thinking if my husband works at the courthouse, wouldn’t any judge in Marion County have the possibility of bias. Didn’t make sense, but at that time we still trusted the judicial system. I forgot to mention after the sort family court appearance, where my lawyer was showing IMs and text from ETs mom showing her mental instability, she said she was not talking about what was going on in her head. She said I was referring to her dad’s “club”. And then when we were walking out of the courtroom, she immediately told her father that we mentioned that information. He showed up at our residence and threatened my husband. I keep the DVD on my person at all times, just to prove our innocence if I ever need to show it.
After the incident at our home, the state police came. And mom and ETs grandfather were gone. Even though as seen in our video evidence, I begged him to let me check ETs arm because she was bleeding from the incident. She had been in mom’s arms when she attacked the juveniles and then she was thrown to the ground. I ran in to get her out of harm’s way when mom went back after the juveniles.
Grandfather followed me and ripped her from my arms. He was also holding her sibling and dangling her from his arms.
Trooper Daugherty from Grafton filed charges on mom and made a CPS referral. We called our attorney (Stevie McDonald) and she said if we felt unsafe, to go to the magistrate and file for DVP. We did and she saw the video. ETs mom was arrested on the following Monday, three days later. She did not go to jail, but her bond said no contact with ET. So we didn’t know where ET was but found out she was left with the felon 70-year-old grandfather. We did not know where ET’s mom was.
Our lawyer told us to show CPS the video. Jessica Embrey and another female came to our house and viewed the video. When they brought ET to our residence, Jessica Embrey said grandfather was “mad as a hornet”. I said “should we leave?” She said, “that may be a good idea”.
I then asked about the thick bandage that was on her right arm in exactly the same place that I had seen blood on her arm after the incident on July 31, 2020. The bandage was stuck on her arm and I didn’t want to traumatize her. She had been through enough for one day. The following day we called and sent pics to Jessica Embrey, Heidi Sturm (GAL), Stevie McDonald, and State Trooper after I was able to soak the bandage off. State Trooper was filing grand jury indictment, however, he told me the assistant prosecutor (Jennifer Pigott) needed to check on some things. Well to this day that never happened and Heidi Sturm assured me that it would not happen. He said he would turn it over to Taylor County, but Heidi Sturm told me “they” went to Taylor County and had bond modified.
Our lawyer told us to comply with anything CPS did. I had made a formal complaint with Charleston after Jessica Embrey lied on the stand. That went nowhere except back to the Fairmont office to Embrey’s supervisor. Things really got bad after that. They did change social workers to Kristi Hixenbaugh. Only found that out when Heidi Sturm and Kristi Hixenbaugh showed up at my residence one morning. I had just made breakfast for ET. They sat down on the floor to play with ET. When Sturm started asking me questions about DVP, I asked if we could speak without ET present.
She ignored that request. In a bullying manner, she said she needed to see DVP papers and other documents of my evidence. I said my lawyer has copies of everything. She said, “Stevie has nothing to do with CPS”.
I was trying to find the final DVP and thought it was in my important papers. I called my husband at work and said I was feeling uncomfortable with the situation. I didn’t know my rights, so I complied as my lawyer told me. She was getting impatient (by her voice and demeanor). I found the papers in my folder that had grown very thick by this time. She started asking me questions about who I knew and how. I thought it was rather strange but had never had problems before. We had ET for 6 months once before. And we took over Dad’s joint custody when he was no longer able. Sturm kept saying to Kristii “see I told you”. I wasn’t sure what was happening. I had only met Sturm one other time, and when ETs mom allegedly wrecked her car intoxicated with a blow and go in it the day she was released from Highland hospital, we called her and texted her about our safety concerns and asked her to be our counsel. But since she didn’t respond and we were not able to get her in time for a custody hearing, so we secured Stevie McDonald.
A couple of days later, I received a phone call (conference) with Heidi Sturm and Kristii Hixenbaugh. They said they needed to talk to me and said they were concerned that my mental health had declined.
Now, remember, I have only met both for a very short time and twice in my whole life. Neither is qualified to evaluate or diagnose mental status. I responded with “excuse me”.
“I am a mental health provider, that is my job to evaluate, diagnose, and treat behavioral health patients”.
They also told me I should talk to someone, and I said “if I needed it I had access to behavioral health professionals that are colleagues”. ET was going to her grandfathers for unsupervised visits. On the next visit, she didn’t come home on time. My husband was mowing and I started outside to call the worker. My phone rang and I was asked by Heidi and Kristie if we were both at home. I said yes.
That is when they told us ET was being placed with her sister with a single male who is friends with her other grandfather and an ex-boyfriend. He is not a father to either child. We brought up that ETs mother had sent me pics of evidence of an assault when they were together.
ETS’s mom actually called me on March 26, 2020, at 2:17 am and said she was concerned for ET’s safety and I needed to come to get her. I called ETs grandfather to ask if it was OK. I didn’t need any more problems with him. He said yes he would be there too. When I arrived I could smell alcohol on ETs mom’s breath. And she was slurring her words. I had a phone log to prove that she called me, but never was let in the courtroom.
I could also testify that I picked ET up on route 50 at the boyfriend’s house where my granddaughter stays now. And ETs mom lied about the pic evidence and said her step-son did it.
He hadn’t been around for a long time. She did the same to me by going to the state police after the incident at our home with her father and they both falsely tried to put charges on me for assault, although it never happened. The state police informed me of that situation. We also said the ex-boyfriend was on disability and that I had talked to him about PTSD. At that time we did not know that he didn’t have a driver’s license. Our lawyer found out by background check and the GAL (Sturm) swore to the judge that he did have a license.
Our lawyer tried to intervene, but Judge Patrick Wilson said it was too soon in the improvement period. My problem with this is, it is not the first improvement period. Mom has a history of violence from a teenager. When her friend went to the house to visit, she was concerned because she couldn’t wake her and the baby was on the floor face down according to this female. I had ET at that time an hour away. She said she was afraid of ETs mom because she had seen her violence and she had thrown a heavy ashtray at her head when they were teenagers. Someone also brought to our attention that she had stabbed her boyfriend in Elkins and the charges were decreased. Our lawyer also found domestic charges from her father and as I said earlier, she assaulted my mother in law and was adjudicated and spent 1 year in day report. She also assaulted police officers during the stabbing incident and my mother in laws incident.
At the child abuse hearing, we were subpoenaed but never got to speak. They made us sit in the back of the courtroom. My husband had brought it to their attention, that his hearing is impaired at an earlier hearing. He moved to the front so he could hear clearly and I stayed in the back.
ETs mom pleaded guilty to child abuse and was given another improvement period.
To this day we have not been subpoenaed to Taylor County Court for assault case on the teenagers. I have reached out to Trooper Daugherty with no info on hearing. He is confused about why they told us that they were moving the abuse case to Taylor County and we almost missed the hearing.
They actually brought in a “special prosecutor” from Harrison county. Trooper Daugherty had told me she would be brought up before the grand jury in Taylor County, however, Heidi Sturm said “there will be no grand jury indictment”. Ok since when does a GAL trump a state trooper who collected the evidence and filed the charges?
She saw the video as well as CPS and judge Johnson during the DVP hearing thought it was “horrific”.
Our lawyer said Judge Wilson also saw the video. At this hearing, Jessica Embrey lied to the judge for the second time by saying my husband and I both told her our son was still using drugs. When I made the formal complaint to Charleston, the CPS social worker asks me that question. I responded” the only way of knowing that would be a drug test” and she agreed. My husband said he was asked that question when CPS came to our home and he responded “he told me he was clean”.
However, we were not allowed to respond to the allegations.
When we received the documents from the attempt to intervene, it was stated that ET was happy with the placement. She is 3 years old, how do you determine that? There was also talk that we told ET that her mom couldn’t see her because it was the condition of her bond. What 3 years old would understand that. We have never degraded her mother to her.
My son has tried to get visitation and even went to DHHR with a family member and had them sign a paper saying he was there.
CPS secretary, Kristi Veltri talked to our son and family member. To this day, he has heard nothing. He did get a new lawyer because his old lawyer, said that he gave him a date for the hearing, however, did not because I was standing right beside him at a prior hearing. The only way any of us knew the time and date was from Stevie McDonald.
I have contacted the US Department of Justice and filed forms for civil rights violations. I feel our civil rights have been violated a few times. We have the right to speak and the right to fight corruption. We should have the right to defend ourselves and have a fair hearing. We also have a right to not be degraded. The latest in this mockery of a system is that we have “touched” our granddaughter. Now, this was passed along to us by a friend of ETs mom’s father to a family member. It’s weird that right before they took her from us I reported that she was showing unusual behavior and saying unusual things for a 3-year-old. I asked the GAL for permission to get her evaluated and reported to the pediatrician. I can get a copy of the note. And she referred to a psychologist. Unfortunately, she never made it for evaluation. And of all times we received this information on Christmas Eve.I am contacting our lawyer to see where this leads. So they couldn’t push the mental health decline with my background and profession.
They did say my degree didn’t matter and the social worker said “I am a licensed social worker!”
So her degree matters and mine doesn’t. If she even has one. It has been brought to my attention that CPS workers do not have to have a degree, background checks, or drug tests. Now, what is wrong with that you say? They have our children and are selling them for profit. It seems so clear to me that this system is broken and corrupt. The department gets money for placing children in foster care but not for places with family.
WV has the highest rate of child removal and the highest rate for missing children within the foster care system. Wake up WV and hold your child or grandchild tight, you could be next.
But with Kimberly Lowe and her advocates, we are determined to stop this for good and hold corrupt people accountable. We thank the state government officials that are not laying down and the parents and grandparents that are putting it all on the line to save the children. Be loud and speak often about selling children under the cover of the law.