7-year-old discovered useless in NYC was caught in prolonged custody battle
She fought for her life.
The grandmother of the 7-year-old girl, who was found dead in her Bronx apartment, fought tirelessly for years for custody of the child – whose tragic death was classified as murder on Thursday.
But little Julissia Batties was eventually brought back to her mother – not long before her lifeless, broken body with signs of trauma was discovered Tuesday morning at the Mitchel Houses in NYCHA.
“I asked her not to give Julissia back to her mother because if she got mad at my son she would take it out on my granddaughter,” Yolanda Davis, the girl’s paternal grandmother, told the Post on Thursday.
“If she were with me, we would never be here without her. She would still be alive. “
Davis said the city coroner’s office called her Thursday with the murder conviction – adding that Julissia was found with serious abdominal injuries. Law enforcement sources confirmed that her death was classified as a homicide.
Not long after she was born in April 2014, Julissia was released from the custody of her mother, Navasia Jones, despite a family judge granting custody of the mother, court records show.
Julissia Batties’ mother regained custody of her just two months before she was murdered.Georgette Roberts
The Child Services Administration appealed the decision, arguing that Julissia was “in imminent risk of harm” because the records indicate that her parents did not “have exercised a minimum of care”.
The appellate court judges ruled in 2015 in favor of ACS, finding that despite completing parenting and anger management programs, the mother “was still prone to unpredictable emotional outbursts” and “was easily provoked and agitated”.
The mother’s four older children were also taken away a year before Julissia’s birth, the court documents say.
The court said that unless the mother was able to “successfully address and acknowledge” the circumstances that led to her other children being taken away, “we cannot consent” to the return von Julissia “even with the safety precautions imposed by the family court” would not be possible to pose an immediate danger to [her] Life or health. “
Davis said she raised Julissia for most of the girl’s short life until March 2019, when the child visited her mother over the weekend – and never came back.
ACS decided to give Julissia back to her mother permanently, the grandmother said. Sources told the Post on Wednesday that her mother was granted custody in June, although the circumstances surrounding that decision are not clear.
Davis, from Brooklyn, whose son is Julissia’s father, said she “pleaded” with ACS not to take her granddaughter away from her.
Julissia Batties’ body was found in NYCHA’s Mitchel homes with evidence of trauma.Christopher Sadowski
“You should have listened to me,” said the desperate woman. “She was better off with me.”
The police were called into the apartment at least six times between May 2018 and March 2020 on suspicion of abuse of the girl, sources said.
The mother, who has bipolar disorder, has been arrested eight times, including two for threat, sources said. The other six are sealed.
Jones was unavailable Thursday for comment. A lawyer who represented her in family court cases declined to comment.
After the girl’s body was found Tuesday, her 35-year-old mother told police that the girl fell and hit her head on a desk.
“When [Julissia Batties’ mother] was mad at my son, she would take it out on my granddaughter, ”said Yolanda Davis.Georgette Roberts
The child’s 17-year-old brother later admitted during questioning that he slapped his sister eight times when her mother walked into the store around 5 a.m. – although the beatings didn’t ultimately kill her, sources said.
Hours later, the girl began to vomit and passed out, causing her mother to call 911. Julissia was admitted to Lincoln Hospital but could not be saved.
No charges have been brought and no one is in custody.
“She was a beautiful child. She was a good kid, ”said Davis of her late granddaughter. “She didn’t deserve that.”