Custody Fight: Why Are Kids In Mississippi?

Custody cases are never simple. But what happens when the parents are in a car crash and one of them dies? Fact Finders has uncovered a local case where no one is saying why the couple's three children were allowed to go to Mississippi to a woman has spent little time in their lives.

It was a devastating crash at 44th and Hamilton in January. The engine was ripped off when the car hit a tree. The driver, Jessica Stanley, was killed. Her husband, Harry, survived - but has brain injuries.

"There's no words to describe the anguish," said Joy McDaniel, mother of Jessica who was killed in the crash.

The couple had three girls.

Marionna, Angelina and Amelia are the children who are 8- 6 and 4 now.

They weren't involved in the crash, but their new home however is in Mississippi -- 800 miles from Omaha.

And it's tearing apart Jessica's mother. She's the grandmother to the three girls after all. "I know the kids have to be suffering. They lost their mom and can't see their dad or even talk with him and not know what's going on. They've got to be tormented."

Dad Harry is in rehab in Omaha for the car crash...and slipped into an induced coma because of the crash.

His stepmom -- the woman who raised him -- says he has memory issues.

The children are with Harry's biological mom -- a woman who hasn't been a big part their life. "The last few times I've called down to talk with the girls -- they won't let me," said Joy McDaniel.

Harry's stepmom -- and Jessica's biological mother -- who both live in Des Moines, Iowa -- are trying to get an attorney to get the girls back to the Midwest where they belong.

"I'm worried about them," said grandma.

So why are the girls in Mississippi with someone who hasn't been a major part of their life?

The family doesn't know. We don't know either.

Fact Finders poured over court records -- checked with Nebraska Health and Human Services -- the county attorney -- Omaha police -- and no one has been able to say who made the decision to release the children and shut out the other grandparents.


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