POSTED: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - 12:31pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - 7:49pm
ALAMOGORDO - A custody battle we've been following out of Alamogordo was already strange, but now it's even more complicated. The mother at the center of the fight is going to have a hard time proving her case following this past weekend.
Olivia, 2, is in the middle of a tug of war. Her mother and father, Rosa and Justin Caje, lived with a woman named Mary Bruer for a few months. Bruer has no blood relation to the Caje family, but we're told she was close to Justin. In 2009 Justin, the girl's father, passed away and afterward Bruer wanted to see Olivia on a regular basis. A court granted Bruer visitation rights and eventually gave her full custody of the child on the basis Bruer was the "psychological grandmother." Rosa never handed Olivia over, and at one point that even got her arrested.
Court documents show that in December, after months of court battles, a judge finally ruled there was no reason to take Olivia away from Rosa, but Bruer continued to fight for the child that wasn't hers. Bruer turned to Judge William Brogan to have the decision reversed.
The judge blocked the public from the courtroom without explanation.
Throughout the case Bruer accused Rosa of being a bad mother, but there were never any investigations to prove it. A spokeswoman for the State's Children Youth and Families Department told us there were no cases involving Rosa. That brings us to this weekend.
We're told on Sunday Alamogordo police found Olivia wandering alone in the alley behind her house. Rosa says she is now charged with cruelty to children.
We asked Rosa for an on-camera interview to explain how she could let this happen. She said she would call us back to let us know but she never made that call, and our follow up calls went unanswered.
Over the phone Rosa told us it was an accident. She says she thought her mom was up and about the house so she decided to take a nap. She says her mom was actually in the shower, and that's how Olivia was able to get out without anyone knowing.
At this point it's unknown if or how this situation will play out in her on-going custody fight. When the courts decide the final outcome we'll let you know.