A Columbia County Juvenile Court judge decided Friday that one child of a Martinez woman charged with killing an elderly woman in her care will live with his father while two others remain in protective custody.
The three minor children – ages 16, 11 and 9 – were taken into the custody of the Department of Family and Children Services after their mother, Deborah Yvonne Hill, 48, and her 18-year-old daughter, Brittany Michelle Hurst, were charged with murder Aug. 26 after the death of Blanche Aline Carpenter, 85.
At the time Carpenter’s death was reported to police, Hill and Hurst were her caregivers. Police said Carpenter lived in unsanitary conditions, and an autopsy determined she died of medical complications from neglect.
Juvenile Court Judge Douglas Flanagan said custody of the 16-year-old will go to the teen’s father.
The younger children, who have undergone psychological and forensic evaluation, will remain in foster care until DFCS finishes background investigations into relatives seeking permanent custody of the children, Flanagan said.
“There are relatives that want those children,” he said. “However, under state law, they have to be investigated.”
Another hearing to decide permanent custody arrangements will be scheduled within 30 days, Flanagan said.
At a 72-hour detention hearing Aug. 29, investigators said it appeared the children, none of whom was enrolled in school, did not bathe regularly.
Also living at Hill’s Locks Hill home was her special-needs husband and her grandmother. Hill’s husband is now under the supervision of Adult Protective Services. Her grandmother was taken to Doctors Hospital for evaluation.