Custody battle ensues over missing woman's child

March 30, 2009 8:19:22 PM PDT
The mysterious disappearance of Kelly Currin Morris has now turned into a custody battle.The custody case over Kelly Currin Morris' youngest daughter, was dismissed in Durham County court Monday. Kelly's husband's parents filed for custody of her youngest daughter there a few months ago.

Kelly's parents and brother were in the court room Monday armed with attorneys, prepared to ask for emergency custody of the missing mother's youngest daughter.

Kelly has been missing since last September, the same day her home mysteriously caught fire. Once the fire was out, investigators discovered Morris was not inside.

Almost every weekend since then, her family, friends and volunteers have searched but have yet to find her.

"We need closure," said Juanita Currin, Morris' stepmother. "Kelly's got two young children, and they need to know what happened to her mother -- that she didn't just run away and leave them behind."

But Morris' youngest daughter, 5-year-old Haley Morris, is in the temporary custody of Haley's biological father and his parents. The child's father, Scott Morris, is also Kelly Morris' husband.

Although he is a person of interest in the case, he has not been charged.

At Monday's hearing, the Currins were seeking temporary emergency custody on the grounds that "Scott is emotionally and mentally unstable."

They also implied in court papers that they believe Scott and his father had something to do with Kelly's disappearance.

Read more details filed in the court records.

Kelly's husband's parents were no-shows in court Monday, but their attorney made it clear the case is over, at least in Durham.

"We filed voluntary dismal and termination in the action," Morris' attorney Jill Burton said.

Because the case was dismissed, no other motions were heard in court. The Currin's attorney has not commented on what course of action they will take next. But it is likely the case will move to Granville County.

Kelly's family currently has custody of Kelly's oldest daughter, who is not Scott's biological child.

Granville County investigators say Kelly's disappearance is still considered a missing person's case.


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