August 19, 2013

Maine mother charged with abducting her kids had lost custody

By Rachel Ohm / Morning Sentinel

A Fairfield woman charged with abducting her two children during a supervised visit last week had recently lost an ongoing battle to regain custody, court documents show.

click image to enlarge

BethMarie Retamozzo protests against the state Department of Health and Human Services in Skowhegan on Aug. 31, 2012. Retamozzo is accused of abducting her children during a supervised visit on Thursday. She and the children were found in South Carolina on Saturday.

2012 Kennebec Journal File Photo / David Leaming

click image to enlarge

Joel and Joslyn Retamozzo

Contributed photos

BethMarie Retamozzo, 34, had been fighting since May 2011 for custody of Joslyn and Joel Retamozzo, whose guardianship she gave to her mother in 2009 when Retamozzo went into the military.

Since then, the courts have questioned her ability to care for the children, and her attempts to regain custody have been "long and ongoing," according to her attorney, Ernie Hilton.

Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey said Monday he believed the children's grandparents, Pamela and Kevin Taylor of Fairfield, had traveled to South Carolina to retrieve the children from the South Carolina Department of Social Services, where they have been held since Saturday. A spokesperson for the department said Monday that the children were no longer in custody there.

Joslyn Retamozzo, 7, and her brother Joel, 6, disappeared last Thursday.

The most recent decision in the custody case, which was handled by Somerset County probate court on Aug. 8, allowed Retamozzo to develop a list of acceptable supervisors that were required to also be approved by the court or a court-appointed lawyer to represent the interest of the children.

Visits were allowed to include overnight visits at Retamozzo's home or a supervisor's home.

The court order, issued by Probate Judge John Alsop after a June 27 hearing, concluded that the children's grandparents would continue to hold guardianship of the children.

Retamozzo had been seeking full custody of the children, but Alsop decided against allowing that.

 

Rachel Ohm can be contacted at 612-2368 or at:

rohm@mainetoday.com

 

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