Death by Domestic Violence: A family fights over custody of a child whose mother was murdered inside the Fort Bend Women’s Center

Fort Bend County, Texas (KTRK) – A family fights for custody of their 6-month-old granddaughter after their daughter was shot and killed inside a home in a Fort Bend residential community for domestic violence survivors.

Abel Sosa, 20, is accused of killing Yaima Fergus, his girlfriend and the mother of his child, on May 10, according to records.

At the time, she and Sousa were living with their infant child, Sousa’s mother, Emma, ​​in a home in a community run by the Fort Bend Women’s Center. It was his mother’s home, according to her family, who said they had been there since January.

Despite living in the community, Verjes was not there to escape an abusive relationship.

The Fort Bend Women’s Center told ABC13 that Verjes wasn’t living there and was just a guest.

Veronica, Vergès’s sister, said her family knew there was a problem in the couple’s relationship and tried to intervene without success.

“She struggled a lot there. I can tell you that. But she was so in love with this guy that she didn’t see any of that,” Veronica said.

Originally, Veronica said the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office detective told the family that she had died while playing with a gun.

Right away, they knew that wasn’t true, according to the family.

Nine days after the shooting, Sosa was arrested.

“It was one of those moments where you feel so comforting because you know she didn’t do it to herself, but he did it to her,” Veronica explained. “It still takes my sister’s life away.”

Veronica said she and her parents raised concerns to the staff who run the women’s community center about guns and drugs at the home where Verges lived.

The day before their daughter was killed, Veronica said her parents had gone to the facility to drop off supplies for her and planned to raise their concerns again but were told to leave.

“We’re having a hard time because this is a place that was supposed to be safe,” Veronica said. “How did you all fail to see these things happening there? There were times I called to give them house advice. How did they miss this?”

FBWC chief executive Vita Jodl told ABC13 on Thursday that they were unaware of concerns her family had raised about her living in the community. They went on to say that they had strict rules prohibiting residents from having overnight guests without prior permission and that residents had been evicted for violating this policy.

She said she could not comment on concerns about guns and drugs in the home, citing an ongoing investigation.

When asked if Sosa was on the lease on the house, Goodell said she couldn’t comment.

Court records show that during the time the Fergus family said the couple lived in the FBWC residential community, he was on probation after pleading guilty to residence burglary in 2021. Records show a motion filed by the attorney general’s office in March 2023 asking for the probation to be revoked after several infractions. .

It is not clear if the Sosa family was ever evicted from their home in the community. The FBWC said the lease specifically states that no illegal activity is allowed, and that is grounds for eviction.

In the aftermath of the murder, Goodell said they were working with the FBCSO to keep their property safe.

“We are committed to the safety of all of our customers, employees and volunteers,” Goodell said.

Veronica said baby Emma has been living with Sosa’s mother in the house where she was murdered since Verges’ death.

The victim’s parents insist that the child should be with them.

“The only thing we’re going to get is her, Emma,” said Veronica. “She will look like her mother. She has big eyes like her mother.”

CPS was involved in the case, according to the family, and interviewed Veronica and her parents. The caseworker also made a home visit.

“My mom is a housewife,” said Veronica. “I’m a stay-at-home mom. She has all the support you can get here, too.”

Originally, Veronica said they maintained a civil relationship with Sosa’s mother and managed to keep the baby several days a week. Since the caseworker’s intervention, she said, there has been a wedge between the families.

“We’ve all tried so hard to save my sister, to make her realize she’s in a bad place,” said Veronica. “We couldn’t save her. All I can do now is try to save my niece. I’ve been trying. I’ve been trying to show CPS evidence, and they don’t care.”

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said it is unable to comment on the case because the child is not in DFPS care and because of state laws on confidentiality.

ABC13 asked a spokesperson about the protocol that follows in local situations where one parent is killed and the other is incarcerated. DFPS issued the following statement in response:

“Only the parent or the court can decide who has physical custody of the child. If we feel the child is not safe with the parent, we ask them who they want the child to be with. We do background checks and checks in the home. We also examine whether that person actually has a healthy relationship And safe with the child. We try to keep the child in an environment that is close to what they are used to and safe as well.”

The Verjes family is considering hiring a lawyer to fight for custody. set up a GoFundMe To help with costs associated with the loss.

Sosa remains in the Fort Bend County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

For more information on this story, follow Mycah Hatfield FacebookAnd Twitter And Instagram.

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