(WKTV) - A 2 1/2-year-old girl is caught in the middle of a bitter custody dispute that has brought two families from Arizona to Utica and landed her mother in jail.
Kathleen Aubain is in the Oneida County Jail for violation of a family court act. She refuses to tell authorities where Isabellah Rose Campos is and who's caring for her. Aubain didn't have legal authority to leave Arizona with the child, as Isabellah's father, Eric Campos, has custody.
Kathleen Aubain's mother says he only has custody because her daughter didn't bring the child back to him following her last time with her. Toni Aubain says her daughter put her baby into hiding for good reason.
"In 2013, Isabellah was coming home and acting very abnormal. She was taking her stuffed animals, she was going behind the couch. She was doing abnormal behavior that children shouldn't do......that's why I would like everybody out there to open up their minds and hearts to this that my daughter Kathleen is giving up her freedom to save her child from abuse," says Kathleen Aubain's mother, Toni Aubain.
Toni Aubain produced photos of bruising on the child. A copy of a the report by an Arizona social worker who spoke with both parents revealed that a police investigator who examined the child found the bruising was consistent with father Eric Campos' account of the child riding in a Rhino vehicle on rough terrain in the desert. Campos told police the child's five-point safety harness caused the bruising.
Asked why not let the legal system navigate all the allegations and put the child in the care of the parent they feel will best care for her, Kathleen Aubain's mother said her family has lost faith in those who were supposed to look out for Isabellah Rose's best interests in Arizona.
"If everybody right now that sees this interview Googles CPS in Arizona, they're under investigation as of today. They let 2,500 cases go last year alone," says Toni Aubain.
Kathleen Aubain went before an Oneida County Family Court Judge on Friday afternoon, again refusing to say where her daughter is, but promising the girl is safe.
Aubain grew up in Westmoreland but was currently living in Arizona.