Transcript for Pelletier Custody Battle Comes to an End
98 home. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Happy -- -- Hugh Grant reliant. Fire but any album I'm so excited. I can't -- it happens think you guys -- much everything. -- I was on my way back to my office. My wife's phone calling and who's on the phone -- -- in screaming. At him coming home. It's just I was drunk and it was praise the lord she's coming home no strings attached she is back to being part of the Pelletier family. And we can start beginning the healing process. I'm Michelle Franzen in New York with this ABC news digital developing story a long and -- in custody battle. Has come to an end in Connecticut and -- reunited family is holding a press conference. Now in February of 2013. -- -- Fifteen year old Justine -- Pelletier was taken by her mother to Boston children's hospitals offering her parents said. From a mitochondria of disease but doctors there had different findings believing that just you know -- suffering psychologically. And not getting the help she needed from our parents we already medical care -- the Massachusetts department of children and families hello reverend got custody the girl ignited and long furious battle from parents. Last -- but the judge in the case returned just in it to her parents' custody. You -- years are now speaking out let's just. Hi everybody -- I appreciate everybody here today at first of all I want it thank you for being here. And most of -- -- -- -- pat Mahoney. Reverend pat Mahoney I do. He's been my lifesaver because -- I have not met him. And he -- -- here for me. Over the last what four month almost 55 months I don't think I'd be here standing. And that's the God's true he's given me hope. He's getting the support. I've talked to every day when I've been down he -- Linda is gonna happen it's gonna happen I go -- I don't know how much more can take the death. So he's been my life saver and I want everybody to know that. Because is extremely important he is some phenomenal person thank you when you are. -- as she's home. And he kept saying enemy she'll be home Linda and it's hard to believe because it kept going on and on a not. So now I want to thank Liberty Counsel. For being there for me -- Richard -- and the rest of the staff. I want to thank JR -- Mr. pond for being there -- me up. Who works over here also sees I think -- assistant director. And then shot at Lewis the director of all Connecticut. He's just been another -- to me I talk to him daily. Every other today he would sit that they Linda we're working on -- this is crazy. We're gonna get her back. -- is just been amazing to me and to our family -- that -- All My Children. And I want to -- I want to also thank the staff here everybody on this that here at JRI. Has gone out and helped us. Smiles on their face which I've not seen until just -- -- got here like I was grumpy smiles and false accusations. In my head. -- my life is turned around also. Because -- see the positive of people. And not the negative and being threatened and being that I do this than that which I didn't even do. So it's been really nice to see a nice facility. Helping me and helping our family. And I want to thank everybody that has helped. The press. On the other families that have been out there on the Internet. And making phone calls or doing whatever they need to be -- from the bottom of my heart because I do thank them -- that wasn't for them. I -- got my daughter back either. Well I just want to thank everybody and I am just so grateful that today has finally come. Going to be a long haul for just dean -- to get better like -- pat Mahoney does that just it is not walking. She's in a wheelchair had never ever been close to being in a wheelchair. There's quite a few different things going on with her so we -- Try to get aired a baseline and that's going to be a big job. I want to thank everybody for everything. Jennifer and it -- -- question. I think everyone out there that is it supportive. My family and most of all it just Dina. For those people -- -- it. Melissa parents. Who from the beginning. Has been there heard my family my sister all of us. I want to personally thank her for being such a great -- and I -- think -- wrangle over in California for starting the Regis CNET page on fees. Those people have gone above and beyond they never knew my family before all this began. And all the people that are on the FaceBook -- that idea -- -- -- just seen for everybody being. So supportive -- of calling for Justine -- is going CU rallies. Whenever they did making the videos which Justine -- truly appreciate. And there is going to be -- new video being put together for her -- -- I hope everybody can contribute to it because -- would love to see the faces of everyone out there. That is -- so supportive for her. I also want to thing -- My family. The snack hear a cheer that has been great it's actually nice to see it my mom was saying supportive people on light. Massachusetts -- -- and I can't really say that people wayside because none of us have ever actually not. And we never were allowed to go to this facility where my little sister was saying. So. All that aside. Yes it's street Justine is coming home I'm still a little bit of a shock that this is finally this chapter of its old Barrett. But it the only. The bad part about is just -- -- still. Has. Suffered. All this back on bonds apparently my mom said she can't -- for me helping her get in and out of the car and helping her she's truly like a rag -- she has no muscle on -- now. So -- my little sister to go from walking being able to. Do whatever she pleased to now this -- which I would teacher and this is it's just sad that people can truly hurt a person let alone -- -- and put them into the state. So -- has a long road of recovery ahead of her was getting herself back up and running literally. It's just. It's gonna take a while and also to make sure that all these bad people never do this again to -- -- or anybody this truly disgusting that this could ever happens that anybody. But I despondent personally think everybody that's been out there -- forming a little sister -- really means a lot to me. One final thing before we have questioned there's been much made about the reunification. Plan. And why why is suddenly Justine -- being released now. And I want to sort of quell some misconceptions out there the -- tears have not changed. Appellate tears have not changed let's from the beginning. They want it -- -- medical. To take care of Justine. It took the court fifteen months to come to that decision. They wanted family counseling. They wanted to meet regularly with DC -- Everything. That was part of that reunification. Plan put forward by secretary -- -- it. Was what the -- tears have been asking for. For over a year. Remember reunification -- should have been put in place right away and it was fifteen months. So how will Justine be treated when she's home. The same loving caring way she was treated before Massachusetts. -- her. So I just feel it's important to stand with this family. They -- the exact same people the exact same plan the exact same commitment. It was Massachusetts. DC that came to. It is Massachusetts DC app that changed. And adopted to what the volunteers have been baking four for fifteen months OK now I'm sure you have questions so. Work -- -- to be together. Actually I that they had been here I've been able. To see her every day. And I think it was a week after I was allowed to -- off campus. So she's been eating steak. -- -- -- -- Could she -- column mare and she's not had it and that was one of her favorite -- every time we went to dinner. Right Jennifer it was -- -- as smoothly. And hot fudge Sunday's. She -- mom that ice cream -- so different. It's so good and that she -- root -- float that she's been eating pretty well actually very well and very -- spoiled on the actually issue requested Bob Thursday could be -- -- Connecticut. But -- in Connecticut right now but they took -- back to our home which is at West Hartford. And we want to see circuit. Play them at that sells banner and what she requested -- -- tired of eating out. She wants a hamburger on the ground. And she wants to sit down and -- and the couch and watch a movie with the family. As sort of I think that's -- then came forward today it's a play games which we used to play a lot of league play. No apples apples to apples and all these games we'd always have -- night and that's Howard -- -- always been. TV shows that she yeah lots like analogy came on very brief moment just catching up by the end on the monitors. Just you know all of a -- all yours. On my four children love dance months I have like -- -- idiotic thing that. Art and went looking like going back in. To see lots. Hanging out now -- your brats and talking friend -- her grandson Margaret Levy is but he was about her dog. And god -- tragedy and there are lying on the couch with her Sunday on Father's Day they -- ministers -- so -- That's got it right -- -- Others see witnesses that she hasn't had. I think this is -- in what a great -- it is for your family Jennifer is there any parting bit. Is worried that this probably -- -- -- that you guys who back that they. Somebody stepped in. Take her away again. I don't think that can happen that -- -- which is. I don't think -- advocate. I don't I don't think that can happen with the publicity and and let's be candid here. I DC -- Massachusetts has been under strong investigation not just for just -- -- but for other tragedies. Commissioner -- -- had to resign damage interim commissioner right now. I what you raise a compelling point I think the -- tears. Their fighters. You have to remember they could have agreed that. They could have agreed and signed papers and done and I think what they knew that wasn't what was best for Justine and that four out over the past sixteen months. Now once just -- get strong they want to ensure it never happens again. I think DCF and everyone knows they they don't want to mess with the Pelletier family. And again there's this bittersweet moment here the exuberance of Justine are coming home -- sixteen months gone with her friend. Little simple things like TV shows but hasn't seen any of that deeper things that -- -- with friends growth. -- she hasn't had her own personal felt. February 2013. She can't we actually my carry on mr. I don't think it matters after she took my phone now. And I got a big thing all day long with friends -- All the time he did. That's a good problem -- so I don't think so yes but the other thing is after remember. IE the -- day which is actually. It was the thirteenth of February. They gave me that plan. That I was not allowed to talk to any former doctors. And I was not allowed a second opinion and I refuse to sign. And that's where -- this tragedy started and I said that's not gonna happen. And I continue to talk to them those -- my doctors for seven years. And to and I think -- -- wonderful but. And I still do not understand how this could've happened. Whenever after. Well. But the new mission here what is that mission. My mission together well as to -- -- they're being -- -- -- talk to -- -- doctor the other day. She recommended it just like I asked it would -- there'd be -- I was going to be a lot of rehabbing with her and hopefully she'll walk again I'm not sure on that one. Water and watch him. We are doing that could make it may be Janet Jennifer's come to Washington DC and what they're looking we are working -- we are working on they're working on federal legislation right now. Have we been down to Washington DC vice -- -- The biggest thing is this should have never happened. It should have never contact they want this -- never happens to my little sister that should never happens and each child ever again in this situation. And that thing we're gonna make sure that this does not ever happen again because like in this situation. The hospitals have figured out the little loopholes they figured out how -- to utilize. The -- -- -- the states that there own advantage and that's pretty much what happens to my little sister in this situation. So going forward we're gonna make sure that this. Never happens again and we're that -- keep fighting so. It changes. Shadowed them at all and Helen here down there must be something wrong -- veterans -- when -- done. Now if anybody has any doubts nannies saying their welcome to come over my mom's offered CDC out you -- -- up. I'll welcome to come over for barbecues you guys guys -- US. Yep -- never wanted and then after so many times it. But in the end it was -- because I that if you have a problem whether they -- And I've not met that many DCF workers either so I don't even know who these people are that are making these accusations honor. To be honest with you. But the local -- people like that I want it and -- The Hokies the F department haven't come over on Saturday and I will make -- barbecue we have an in ground pool. And you that has been -- holiday and evaluate. They did not. Remember Massachusetts. DC -- Never came to the Pelletier -- home. They were never -- about your home one time. -- never. Let's just say this if anyone had any doubts. To date is vindication. This has been the most examine family in the state of Massachusetts and Connecticut. And Justine is being released on the terms that volunteers. Have been asking for. For over a year so it's it's complete. The most important thing is just -- giving well. But the family spent utterly vindicated today completely. If there are no conditions. The judge Johnston released just -- no conditions with a court order. I don't believe there's been any psychological component to -- at all and especially -- -- -- -- -- -- form at this point has been dropped anyway. And -- -- a -- is such an old fashioned diagnosis. We have been dealing with a psychologist for sixteen years. And he's I've brought my children especially for education and make sure that they'll have to hire I needed questions. And he is considered -- the top doctors in Connecticut. And he kind of -- he said this is absolutely insane. I mean everybody to a degree has some type of psychological. Issue depression at times or whatever but just you know was a tough -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- That was her attitude and it still is -- she has not lost that spark. She has what my father had. And it was that it's like I want to do it you watch me. So I don't believe there isn't real psychological component. Everything medically -- from every -- stroked -- daddy. You have to realize I get a massive -- -- once the brain was totally vehement. It's what went to -- -- judge Johnston. Put tops back. In charge of the medical situation. Any sense of some lot of form or psychological disorder was -- because -- state agree with that. And the other thing. The -- Are protecting -- But I wish you could meet -- She so joyful. This -- -- -- -- smile at BC that Boston Globe are eating hot fudge Sunday Chinese. It's amazing to me. Because it all of this I mean my heart breaks for Jennifer my heart breaks for -- but think about it. This. At that time fourteen year old girl. She's taken. She -- the flu she thinks she'll be home. In a few days most -- -- and sixteen months she can't talk to her friends. She's -- psychological. Units behavioral unit she can only see her family once a week can. She can't go outside she can't see or -- mother on Mother's Day. The fact that she is just so joyful. So exuberant its first of all testimony to this family. But it's a testimony to her spirit. She's upbeat she wants to go and you know what. I would stunned at this she said I wanna go down to Washington DC in testify. She she said that herself it was. In response to a question she said that's what I want to do so this is an exceptional young woman and this is a wonderful family. And. After remember. But. -- never done anything yet each of the -- -- between the ages six and -- and it's not the exact date and it or not star. It was a very very large stroke though it took half the size of the break. I've only has -- the same as they have been here I've taken their first 67 hours. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- I feel like I've been living in a hotel -- half an hour there half an hour there and the mileage on my car is -- saying. Absolutely is -- And I -- a new car next couple and I can't lift the stupid wheelchair up so it's been very heavily but anyway. -- Yes. And it. And in some of that -- -- I. We we have to be very careful Justine still is a minor. And so really seen any medical conditions wouldn't be good so just trust -- -- -- mad. -- the tufts medical team. They approved everything and they're following that the only thing I think we can say it's the same treatment that Justine before she came. Which he was doing well by the way that it's gonna be completely different think of that if you saw that thirty nine's second video that Jennifer -- I would. How much like backpack. You know I have all of audited by scrambling to put -- like in my home 452 video Justine I wanna go home it weighs in talking to their ballots. There's -- anything I'll let me in -- back in the parking lot at the Justine what you wanted to say. -- -- -- us -- that she wants to phase the judge enough that it got -- the governor. And it's. I just held it there -- some people it says that she was codes that -- You know whenever that was just -- speaking from her heart she did get a little bit you know emotional as whole thing has been extremely hard on her she's the one that's. On through everything this entire situation. Gas. The the Father's Day she was home for Father's Day and it was gut wrenching for just needed to come back. But we kept telling her and you know what it was her spirit I mean she was always upbeat. The first thing she always said to me with reverend Mahoney went in my coming home. Justine or you're coming home she wanted to be with the family and -- what you see what you come out comes out how thrilled shall be. Any other questions we want to get her home as quickly as we can. So here so we're gonna do we're gonna walk back. Why don't I do this I'll drive out -- they can -- you can drive behind me stop right registry for. Just an Internet -- -- -- advocates and yet. Right here. OK and thank you so much much Atlantic you can keep up with the story is real time by downloading the finish that story -- story where it was about time ago for now on the shelf plans -- -- --
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