An Irish-American family are fighting to hang onto their grandson – as their daughter’s killer’s parents bid for custody.
Katie Farrell, a 23-year-old Long Island mum, was stabbed to death in March by her ex-boyfriend James Schltuz who then killed himself.
The New York Post reports that the two sets of grandparents are now fighting in Suffolk County Family Court over the couple’s love child, 14-month-old Tyler.
Claire Farrell, Katie’s heartbroken mum, told the paper: “It’s unreal. Not only did my daughter lose her life at the hands of this man, it was never her desire that her son would live in that home. They were not a couple.”
Farrell also confirmed that her daughter had split with Schultz long before the murder at her home in St. James when Schultz stabbed Katie, took the baby to his parents’ house in East Northport and shot himself.
Mum Katie added: “She had full custody - she took care of her son, who never spent a night in that house.
“His only contribution was to pick up Tyler three days a week while Katie worked a janitorial job at a nursing home. It was a baby-sitting arrangement because my daughter was employed and he wasn’t.
Brian Farrell, Katie’s twin brother, also spoke of the family’s torment.
He said: “We think it’s an outrage that the parents would have any say in this.
“Now, all of a sudden, they’re saying they want to raise the baby? It’s like we’re being kicked in the teeth.”
The Judge in the case has ruled that for now the Farrells get Tyler four days a week and George and Janet Schultz have him for three.
The paper also reports that Katie Farrell penned a heartfelt tribute to her boy a month before she died.
In the anti-abortion essay for a college English class, she explained why she decided not to end the unplanned pregnancy despite being unmarried and having only a minimum-wage job.
She wrote: “A situation might not be ideal, but it’s no cause for termination of the life one created. My son is healthy, happy and a little chunky. He’s rebellious and lives to be the center of attention.”
Her mum Claire said: “The essay was Katie’s last testament. She had gone through years of suffering, but since the day she found out she was pregnant, her life turned around. It was joy and pride.”
Katie’s friends and family set up a site to raise money for the boy’s education at www.katiefarrellfund.com.