Updated 05/29/2008 06:28 AM
Jaliek's grandparents file for custody
LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. -- As a child advocate in the courtroom, how do you represent a child who's missing?
Attorney Jeffrey McMorris said, "None of us have been able to find any precedent for a case like this."
Jaliek Rainwalker's maternal grandparents filed for full custody of the 12-year-old. And though he's been missing for almost seven months now, they still think he deserves to be heard.
Attorney Gregory Cholakis said, "What if - God forbid - we're dealing with a child in a coma and he can't speak to anybody? Does that mean the child doesn't deserve to have a custodian? To me it's the same situation."
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So what exactly is in the custody document? Mostly things that happened while Jaliek was living under his adoptive parents' roof in Greenwich. His maternal grandmother Barbara Reeley alleges his adoptive father, Stephen Kerr, would become physically and verbally and physically abusive to the child. But her main concern is what happened after Jaliek went missing. Reeley said his adoptive parents aren't actively looking for him. The attorney for the couple said he doesn't know if his clients have looked for their son or not.
McMorris said, "I don't think you're gonna see Stephen and Jocelyn out there in back fields or things like that, that seems to be the only things that's going on right now."
While the Greenwich police have called off their active search for Jaliek, his grandparents see this as a necessary next step.
Cholakis said, "If this was your child, what would you do?"
No date has been set for the custody hearing just yet. Everyone involved in the case needs to do a little more research.