CPS to decide custody of slain infant’s sisters

McKINNEY – Child Protective Services will have 45 days to determine whether the two sisters of an infant who was killed last month when her arms were severed should remain in foster care, state District Judge Cynthia McCrann Wheless ruled Friday.

The girls’ father, John Schlosser, has agreed to parental counseling, psychological evaluations, and drug and alcohol tests. Their mother, Dena Schlosser, remains in jail on a capital murder charge in the death of 10-month-old Margaret Schlosser.

John Schlosser declined to comment on Friday’s hearing, but his attorney, Howard Shapiro, said Schlosser understands what he must do to get his daughters back.

“We’ll undergo any test and counseling session to show he’s a good man and good father and deserves to have his children,” Shapiro said after the hearing. “Nothing in his parenting skills led to this horrible event, but he understands that he needs to ensure to everyone that his children will be safe with him.”

Shapiro said Schlosser will be allowed supervised visits of about two hours a week with his 6- and 9-year-old daughters.

Child Protective Services is also evaluating John Schlosser’s sister, who lives in New York state, as a custody option, Shapiro said.

Police say that Dena Schlosser called her husband Nov. 22 and told him that she had cut off their infant daughter’s arms. John Schlosser, who was driving from Arlington, called a friend at the Children’s World Learning Center in Plano and told her to go to the couple’s apartment and check on his wife. The employee called Dena Schlosser and then told a supervisor about their conversation. The supervisor called 911.

Police found the baby and Dena Schlosser, who was holding a knife.

Child Protective Services officials want to terminate the Schlossers’ parental rights because they believe that John Schlosser should have known that his daughter was in danger. But Shapiro said, “Nothing he could have done or foreseen could have stopped this from happening.” Shapiro also said the agency closed an earlier investigation of the family because officials believed that Dena Schlosser was cured of symptoms related to postpartum depression.

“He bears no responsibility,” Shapiro said.

John Schlosser has visited his wife in jail, Shapiro said.

“She is still his wife,” he said. “He loves her but understands that their relationship will never, ever be the same again.”

Shapiro said the older girls have been traumatized by the killing and by the separation from their parents.

“They lost their mother, lost their sister and their father,” Shapiro said.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Star-Telegram, USA
Dec. 4, 2004
Nathaniel Jones

Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday December 4, 2004.
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