Alison Kessler approached the courts for an emergency pick-up order just hours before the incident was discovered.
Trigger warning: The story contains details of murder and suicide that might be disturbing to some readers.
One mother foresaw that her son was unsafe with his father. But her efforts to save him, unfortunately, were in vain as she was forced to see the lifeless body of her little boy. According to People, Greyson Kessler, a 4-year-old boy, was killed in a murder-suicide by his father, John Stacey, hours after the mother of the child suspected her boy was in danger. However, the judge reportedly denied the request.
The horrific incident came to light after the bodies were found at the father's apartment in Fort Lauderdale around 10 pm on May 20, 2021. As per the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, the 47-year-old shot his son the night before and then turned the gun on himself.
Fla. Boy, 4, Killed by Dad in Murder-Suicide on Day Mom Asked Court to Keep Father Away From Him https://t.co/qBbOHZbtpo— People (@people) May 25, 2021
Meanwhile, the mother, Alison Kessler approached the courts for an emergency pick-up order on the morning of May 20, 2021, as she could not reach her son since May 19, 2021.
She told the authorities that the father hadn't dropped her son at school. She further claimed that the police could not find him.
"The father is wrongfully detaining the minor child. The Mother is justifiably concerned the minor child may be injured in the Father's care," stated the mother's attorney, according to CBSNews.
Despite the mother's concerns, the request was denied by the court. According to Sun-Sentinel, the judge stated that the motion "does not present an emergency as it addresses the issue of child visitation."
The court records obtained also showed that the mother was disturbed by the texts sent by her former partner. "You are not allowed to date other people. It's either me or no one. Or I will remove child support and quintuple text volume. The choice is yours, Ali," wrote Stacey to Kessler on May 14, 2021.
Days later, he called her a "vile pig" and wrote, "You deserve to have your head separated from body, and deserve to die. But I am not the violent type. God will deal with you."
Prior to filing the emergency petition, the mother also asked the court for a domestic violence injunction to avert the man from meeting her or her son. "His behavior is erratic and escalating, and I fear for my life, my boyfriend's life, and most of all my child. He is unstable mentally," noted the woman in his petition.
Unfortunately, that was also denied by the court. "Petitioner has failed to allege any overt acts by Respondent which would constitute domestic violence under Florida Statute," stated the judge at the time. Kessler told the court that Stacey suffered from PTSD after his association with a group called "The Moonies," a religious group, which she claims to be a cult. She also informed the court that he was angry with her for having Greyson.
Additionally, he put a tracker on her car and left her abusive messages.
Meanwhile, the grieving family of the child started a GoFund Me page to fund his funeral. They alleged that the system had failed the mother and the child. "The police, child protective services, and the criminal justice system failed Greyson and Ali, who filed multiple emergency orders to get Greyson safely away from the father, who had been sending threatening text messages and emails to Ali, and exhibited frightening behavior. If the domestic violence injunction filed by Alison had been approved by the judge, our Greyson would be here with us today."
The police department, on the other hand, stated, "We understand the mother and family of the child victim are feeling an immense amount of grief at this time. We want to ensure them, and our community, we will be conducting a full investigation into this incident."
Source: GoFund Me Page