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Grandmother tries again for custody of Heather Mack's baby

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Time is running out for the paternal grandmother of Heather Mack's baby, who is trying gain custody of the child. (WLS)

Time is running out for the paternal grandmother of Heather Mack's baby, who is trying gain custody of the child.

Mack's daughter Stella must leave the Indonesian jail where she's been cared for since her birth on Friday.

Mack and the baby's father, Tommy Schaffer, are serving prison terms for the murder of Mack's mother.

Kia Walker knew it was a long shot, but she hoped a personal plea to a Cook County judge would help her cause.

Walker is seeking legal guardianship over her almost 2-year-old granddaughter, Stella.

The baby was born in the Indonesian jail where the toddler's parents, are serving long prison sentences for killing Mack's mother on a luxury vacation.

"We believe the law says if we show that they are unable to care for this child that she as a grandmother has standing," said Michael Goldberg, Kia Walker's attorney.

But Judge Susan Kennedy Sullivan disagreed, arguing that Mack and Schaefer must give written consent before a decision on guardianship is made.

Ruling against Walker, Sullivan also said the court does not have jurisdiction over a child born in another country. But Walker's attorney said Indonesian citizenship is not automatically given to a child born to non-Indonesian parents.

"We feel she is a U.S. citizen, she has a U.S. passport and she deserves to be brought back to the U.S.," said Goldberg.

Indonesian law allows babies born in prison to stay with their parents until they are two. Stella's second birthday is on Friday.

Following her court defeat, Walker let her attorney do most of the talking.

"I'm sorry, I'm declining comment at this moment," said Walker, Tommy Schaefer's mother.

Walker and her attorney, Michael Goldberg, have no idea where Stella will go after the toddler is released from her parent's custody in prison on Friday.

In the meantime, Goldberg planned to file an expedited appeal to Tuesday's ruling, although he doubted he could get a hearing before Stella's second birthday.

Related Topics:
custodyu.s. & worldmurderForest Park
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