Poor Jayce Osteen. His young life just keeps getting more complicated…
As we previously reported, two sheriff’s deputies in Florida, Clayton Osteen and Victoria Pacheco, left behind their infant son when they both died by suicide within days of each other earlier this month.
There was a glimmer of hope when we learned a family member had taken in the baby, who had suddenly become an orphan at less than two months old. Family friend Kelly Ridle, who set up the GoFundMe for the little guy, provided an update before eventually ending the fundraiser, revealing:
“A close family member will be adopting Jayce. All donations will be used for enriching Jayce’s life experiences and securing a brighter future.”
That family member, we now know, was Clayton’s older brother, Zack Osteen. The 31-year-old, also a sheriff’s deputy, was granted an emergency court order for immediate guardianship and plans to formally adopt his nephew.
During a press briefing just days after the suicides, St Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara revealed:
“After Victoria’s passing Clayton’s brother immediately took custody of Jayce. An emergency court order hearing took place that week and recognized Clayton’s brother as Jayce’s guardian for at least a year. Clayton’s brother is married, has two children of his own, so Jayce is in a loving home with two cousins. And we foresee nothing but the best for Jayce in that environment.”
Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, Zack is going to have to fight for the child.
According to a shocking new report from DailyMail.com, another family member has decided to begin a custody battle for Jayce. Tammy Meyer, the mother of his late mom Victoria, is launching a full-on legal attack.
Friend Kelly Newell told the outlet that Tammy, who was in the delivery room during the birth, gave up her job as a hair stylist and moved closer to her daughter to be a full-time nanny for her grandson. But since he was orphaned, she hasn’t been able to see him! Kelly says:
“Tammy hasn’t been allowed to see Jayce alone because the Osteens aren’t allowing it. There are a lot of sides to this story… Tammy is concerned about the whole situation and wants some answers. She has hired a lawyer to help her get guardianship of her grandson. Ultimately she wants full custody.”
Whoa. This apparently isn’t going to be settled with a peaceful conversation. Kelly says about her childhood friend:
“She is in the same county. She won’t leave that county without the baby. She has retained a lawyer to try to put the baby where it should be. And that is to live with her permanently.”
Kelly’s husband Brian said the family feud has already begun:
“We went down there for the funeral and it was pretty overwhelming how Tammy was treated.”
Well, this certainly isn’t sounding like what’s in the best interest of the child, is it? A protracted, contentious legal battle.
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