Cornelius Miller lost his 19-year-old daughter Corneisha a year ago after a brutal murder. Now, he may lose his two young grandsons to the Department of Children and Families. Authorities feel that 62-year-old Miller is too old and sick to care for three-year-old Jemarcus and 16-month-old Rodgerick, and instead want to put the children up for adoption.
Miller has helped raise the children since they were born, and
they've always lived in his house. The children's mother was murdered by
their father on March 18, 2010. The young children witnessed the
killing. To say these kids have faced more than a lifetime of tragedy in
their short existence is an understatement. Now the state wants to rip
them from the only home they've ever known.
The state says that because of Miller's age and diabetes he's not a proper guardian. WSVN spoke to Miller. He plans to fight the decision, and made an impassioned plea to the already embroiled DCF.
love these kids," Miller told the station. "I loved my daughter, too.
She was just taken away from me so early. She had so much potential. She
would have fought for her kids herself. She's not here, and I have to
do it. I do it because I love her, and I want them, and I'm gonna fight
for them. If I have to take it to the Supreme Court, if I can do that, I
will do that, anything."
"These decisions are not made by one
person, but a team of people, including judges, guardian ad litems,
case managers and others," read a DCF statement. "We are all tasked with
making sure the best interest of the children are protected."
Miller will go to court in April to fight the decision, and Tampa attorney Melissa Cordon tells MyFoxTampaBay
he has a good chance: "He does not have a criminal record, and he has
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been the caretaker of these children from birth. My personal opinion is
that children should be placed with family members."