The father of a toddler who was found dead on a park swing being pushed by his mother had filed for sole custody of his child just days before.
James Lee told NBC he asked a court for sole custody of three-year-old Ji-Aire because he was deeply worried about the mental health of the child’s mother, Romechia Simms, and believed she needed to get help.
However the judge found in favor of the 24-year-old mother, deeming her to be a fit parent.
On Friday, Ji-Aire was found dead, being pushed by his mother in a playground swing in La Plata, Maryland.
Mr Lee told NBC: ‘[The judge] deemed her, at that moment, a fit parent. I’m not saying she isn’t, but in this situation, he just didn’t pay attention to the signs.’
He added: ‘I have a stable home for him.’
After the custody hearing, Simms took Ji-Aire to live with her mother in a motel but soon called Mr Lee, saying there was a problem and that he should come pick them up. Then she stopped answering her phone.
The devastated father spoke fondly of the young son he lost.
‘He’s like me, he loves having fun,’ he told NBC. ‘He loves watching movies and he could quote almost any one.’
On Monday, law enforcement officials said an autopsy was completed on the boy but the cause of death remains under investigation.
Simms’ mother, Vontasha Simms, 47, told 9 News that her daughter would never harm her child and that she believed she had suffered some kind of mental break after being diagnosed with a mental illness three months ago.
Read more at Daily Mail