Biological Mom of Murdered Boy Fights for Custody Of Sixth Child - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Biological Mom of Murdered Boy Fights for Custody Of Sixth Child


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The biological mother of a young boy killed by his adoptive parents has decided not to release parental rights in the case of her sixth child.

Because of a history of homelessness and unemployment, the state took Casey Caswell's first son, Ricky Holland, and placed him in foster care. He was murdered in 2005, and the couple that adopted him was later convicted in his death.

Since then, Casey Caswell has had five more children, and all of them have been taken by the state. However, her youngest child, 7-month-old Matthew Caswell Jr., is the only offspring Casey Caswell still has a chance of having back.

In court on Wednesday, Caswell was expected to release her parental rights to a woman believed to be a family member, but officials say that woman is not related by blood, and cannot legally adopt the child.

This revelation led attorneys for Caswell to ask Ingham County Probate Judge George Economy to reconsider terminating parental rights. In court on Wednesday, Caswell's defense attorney asked for more time to help strengthen Caswell's case in favor of gaining custody of Matthew Jr.

"Once you release your parental rights, it's the same as having your rights terminated," said Campbell. You will be no more legally related to this child than you or I or somebody else on the [street]."

Judge Economy granted the request, but said Caswell and her husband will have to prove they are fit to care for the child. "One of the things I am going to be looking at is, ‘Do you have stable housing? Do you have stable employment to care for this child?'" says Judge Economy.

Defense Attorney William Campbell said the Caswells now have their own apartment, and that Matthew Caswell Sr. is pursuing full-time employment, but works a part-time job in the meantime.

This case will reconvene November 21 at 9 a.m. 

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