Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Family members battle for custody of child after father accused of murder

CLEARWATER — The custody of a 7-year-old girl remains uncertain a month after her father was accused of killing her grandmother at their Clearwater home.

The girl's mother, Tracey Lohoski, and grandfather Edward Lohoski are fighting each other for custody after 34-year-old Matthew Lohoski, Tracey's ex-husband and the child's father, killed his 59-year-old mother, Deborah, in the back yard of her home at 1709 El Trinidad Drive E in Clearwater while the girl played inside, police said.

Matthew Lohoski remains in the Pinellas County Jail on a first-degree murder charge.

At a hearing Tuesday, Tracey Lohoski's attorney, Margaret O'Neill, told a judge that the mother and daughter have only had two visits since the week of Lohoski's arrest.

"This is just creating estrangement," O'Neill said. "She needs to see her."

Christine Payne, attorney for the guardian ad litem program, said at the hearing that the 7-year-old has been seeing a therapist since 2011. The girl's therapist said the child feels a "sense of abandonment" by her mother, Payne said.

"The child is overwhelmed with emotions and needs to have some time to address all of these, and the therapist is simply saying that it would be best for the mother and child to be in a therapeutic setting," Payne said.

Judge Lorraine M. Kelly agreed to allow a therapist to evaluate the mother and daughter separately later this week to decide if a therapist will sit in on future visits between the mother and daughter.

Edward Lohoski, who has temporary custody of his granddaughter, said during the hearing that Tracey has been regularly in touch with the girl.

"Her mother calls her and talks to her most nights," he said.

"They are brief phone calls in most cases. And I don't stop them. I just monitor them."

Family members battle for custody of child after father accused of murder 04/01/14 [Last modified: Monday, May 5, 2014 11:42am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Two boys in critical condition after Largo crash

    Accidents

    LARGO — A 7-year-old boy was thrown from a car in a head-on crash on Starkey Road, and both he and a 6-year-old boy were in critical condition Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  2. Trump's new order bars almost all travel from seven countries

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a new order banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.

    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters Sunday upon his return to the White House in Washington.
  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. In Mexico City, hopes of finding quake survivors dwindle

    World

    MEXICO CITY — Five days after the deadly magnitude 7.1 earthquake, the hulking wreckage of what used to be a seven-story office building is one of the last hopes: one of just two sites left where searchers believe they may still find someone trapped alive in Mexico City.

    Rescue workers search for survivors inside a felled office building in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City on Saturday.
  5. GOP health bill in major peril as resistance hardens among key senators

    National

    WASHINGTON — The floundering Republican attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act met hardening resistance from key GOP senators Sunday that left it on the verge of collapse even as advocates vowed to keep pushing for a vote this week.

    Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate, said Sunday that it was “very difficult” to envision voting for this health-care bill.