On October 19, 2020, I received a call that no parent should ever have to receive. My daughter and only child was murdered along with her boyfriend with my 4 year old grandson in the car with them who witnessed the murders of both his parents. I was told by detectives that they were not the intended target as far as they knew at the time. Needless to say, our family has been devastated by the loss of my only child. My grandson now has to live in this world without both of his parents. This has been a very traumatic experience for all of us and we are still grieving the loss which makes it even more difficult that I have been fighting for custody of my grandson since. My daughter was living in North Carolina at the time with her dad and I had recently moved to Florida. I immediately went to North Carolina to pick up my grandson and take care of funeral arrangements for my daughter which I did without the assistance of her dad. I had to hire and pay a funeral home in North Carolina to prepare my daughter’s body so that she can be sent home to Florida, and send her body on a plane to Florida so that the funeral home in Florida could prepare her for burial. I took care of all of those arrangements on my own which was extremely difficult emotionally. Never in a million years did I ever think I would have to choose a casket for my child. During that time, my grandson was with me and her dad stayed in North Carolina. During the time I was making funeral arrangements for my daughter, my dad passed away. At the time I felt numb, not only had I lost my child and my 4 year old grandson witnesses it, I also loss my father. I didn’t even know how I was still standing but I made it through because I knew that my grandson needed me. During that time, her dad had still not made it to Florida but said that he would be here in time for the funeral. I included him in the planning once he got here to Florida. After the burial of our daughter, I found out that while I was in Florida making funeral arrangements for my daughter and preparing to also bury my dad that he filed for legal guardianship of our grandson behind my back and did not list me or the paternal grandmother as interested parties. I was devastated but had to hire an attorney to help me which was extremely expensive. My husband who is a disabled retired Marine was very supportive of me and we have both been traumatized and devastated at all that has happened. We were blindsided with having to hire an attorney due to a filing without our knowledge in which we were told was fraudulent. My daughter’s dad and I had briefly discussed custody of our grandson but thought that we would wait until I got our daughter buried first but he did so without my knowledge while I was planning her funeral. That being said, the attorney had to request a continuance at the first hearing because her dad filed it as uncontested. Since it was also during the time of the covid pandemic so the courts were also very behind . During that time, I had to take my grandson back to North Carolina and wait for hearing which took 3 years and during that time attorneys still had to be paid in order for them to continue representing us. The reason why we want custody of our grandson is because the environment in which he lives in not one that we would consider safe. My grandson’s picture was also on the news and the police report was public release which frightens us because one of the perpetrators is still on the run. His parents died due to gun violence and we know that he would have a better life here with us, safe and away from everything that happened to his parents and him. We know that we can not replace his parents but strongly believe that he would fare better in a 2 parent household instead of being tossed around to different people and co-workers of his grandfather which comes with a set of dangers in itself which makes us terrified. We are still fighting for our grandson and have exhausted our savings in attorneys fees but do not want to give up. This is our first time dealing with the legal system and it has been very stressful and also angering to be perfectly honest. We also found out that the person who murdered my daughter had a violent criminal history and was let out of jail 2 weeks due to overcrowding due to covid before murdering my daughter. On top of traveling back and forth to North Carolina for hearings of the murderer, we are still fighting for our grandson which is very emotionally and financially taxing. This is our last resort short of selling our home to continue to fight. As I mentioned before my husband is a retired Marine which means he is also very proud so this is extremely difficult for us to do but we have no other choice but to ask for help, so we are asking that anyone who can find it in their hearts to help us continue to fight for our grandson. Thank you and God bless.