FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A Hollywood woman will have to wait a little longer to find out who will gain custody of her four children who were taken by their father on Monday.
James Weathers, 24, and his girlfriend Julie Ann Pilkington, 22, disappeared with the kids as the Department of Children and Families was preparing to remove them from his custody. DCF said Weathers was under investigation after a complaint of abuse or neglect.
After an intense search, the children were located with Weathers at an apartment building on 174th Street in Sunny Isles Beach around 3:30 Monday afternoon. Weathers was temporarily detained by Hollywood police but no charges were filed.
On Tuesday, there was supposed to be a dependency hearing to determine who would get temporary custody of the children, but it had to be moved to Wednesday because Weathers was not notified of the hearing by the Department of Children and Families.
The children’s mother, Christine Cuba, didn’t seem upset by what Weathers had done as she left the courthouse.
“He’s a good dad, he just made a mistake,” said Cuba.
Cuba plans to ask the court to let the children live her mother, the kid’s grandmother.
“The next step is to determine what’s best for them and where they can go next,” said DCF’s Paige Patterson Hughes. “Certainly relatives can be considered for that placement, home studies are done and other events take place to make sure that is the best placement for the children. Sometimes children go into foster care with a foster family. So it’s all dependent upon what’s best for the children and who is available at the time to step in and help care for them.”
Weathers has prior arrests for battery in three separate domestic violence cases, burglary, petty theft, grand theft, reckless driving, and cannabis possession.
Cuba lost custody of her children last year when the water in her apartment was turned off.
There is a history of violence between the couple.
According to a Hollywood Police report obtained by CBS 4 News a little more than a year ago, Weathers was arrested for punching and kicking Cuba while she was holding one of the kids then trying to take the child.
The report says Weathers left and was later arrested.
Family members say the couple was trying to be civil for the sake of the children and that Weathers is a loving father.