Minnesota mother murders child in bitter custody battle
September 8, 2017 5 comments
A Minnesota mother found dead with her five year-old son left a suicide note referring to a bitter custody battle with the boy’s father.
Police discovered the bodies of the 46 year-old and her son in the basement of her home in the central city of Orono, on the shores of Lake Minnetonka. Gina Summers had killed her son Jude and then taken her own life, the Star Tribune reports.
The Police had been alerted by the boy’s father after he had been unable to reach her to arrange a time to pick up his son. He and the mother had shared care – or ‘joint custody’ as it is known in the United States.
The mother’s typewritten suicide note claimed joint custody amounted to “allowing a child to be ripped from his mother” and repeated earlier claims that her former partner had been abusive.
The distraught father, Jeff Sandberg, lamented the sudden loss of his son. Only the previous week he had taken him fishing, he explained, but now he was “planning the funeral for Jude, murdered by his mother, Gina Summers, when he was getting ready for his first day of Ready Start Kindergarten.”
He vehemently denied the mother’s claims of abuse, saying that:
“…since the onset of the case in January 2015 when [Summers] falsely accused the father of domestic abuse, [she] never missed an opportunity to disrupt the established father-son relationship, both inside and outside of the Family Court paternity proceedings.”
She had harassed him for more than two years, he continued, with:
“…her actions and inactions, including her scheduling of multiple motions before the court, not only before but also after the trial, and subsequently to the Court of Appeals, and her absolute refusal to participate in ordered mediation.”
Jude was born in August 2012 after Summers, a ‘realtor’ (real estate agent) had undergone fertility treatment. She and Mr Sandberg had been in a relationship since 2008 but by 2015 she had taken out the US equivalent of a non-molestation order against him.
Court records include a preschool teacher’s report. Jude was described as:
“…doing great in class! He is such a smiley and loving boy!”
Photo of Lake Minnetonka by edkohler via Wikipedia under a Creative Commons licence
September 8, 2017
Categories: Family Life