GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - One of Latrice Maze's five children will not be allowed to attend a Saturday memorial service for the Grand Rapids woman who police say was murdered.
Maze, 26, was last seen alive on March 19 at her Grand Rapids home. More than six weeks later, Grand Rapids police said she had been murdered and that her body had been put in a Dumpster and incinerated at a landfill.
Last week, her boyfriend, Jahleel Hoskins, was arraigned on an open murder charge in her death, though he told 24 Hour News 8 from jail that he did not kill her.
Now, Maze's family is trying to get closure by holding a memorial service. But they are being told one of her daughters can't attend.
Marihya Harris, 3, is in foster care and the agency has decided going to the service is not in her best interest.
Marihya is the same daughter that Maze was supposed to visit on March 19, the day police say she was murdered. Maze's failure to make that appointment was one of the first signs that something was wrong.
Maze gave custody of Marihya to the baby's father in 2011. Earlier this year, he was found unfit and the State took custody. Now the State has the right to determine what is in the child's best interest.
The girl's father now wants her to be able to say goodbye to her mom.
"I just pray to God that she be able to attend to it to see her mother for the last time," her father, Kenneth Harris, said.
Marihya has been sheltered from what has been going on with her mother's case. That is why the family says it's important for her to attend the service -- to help her understand.
But her foster care agency, D.A. Blodgett, is denying that request.
"I feel like they don't even care, you know. If they care, it shouldn't have been a problem," Harris said.
D.A. Blodgett was only able to release a vague statement to 24 Hour News 8 about its decision because of privacy laws. But Marihya's great aunt, Tonya Harris, shared emails from a care case manager at D.A. Blodgett.
"After talking it over with my supervisor and M's nurses, it was determined that it would not be in M's best interest, both emotionally and medically to attend the service. M's doctor have made it very clear that any exposure to a single illness can be fatal for her," one email reads in part.
According to her family, Marihya was born with a heart and lung problem. She has a breathing tube and a feeding tube.
"She does not have long to live. The doctor says she could die at any time," great-aunt Tonya Harris said.
They say it may be the last chance for her to see distant relatives.
"She's OK to go to school. She's OK to come up here at D.A. Blodgett for an hour. Why she can't spend an hour with her family?" Kenneth Harris wondered.
The family said the service will not be complete without all of Maze's children.
"It's going to feel like it's a part of Latrice that's missing," Harris said.
A memorial marker was unveiled for three young siblings who died in an apartment fire 10 months ago.
Battle Creek Police are investigating a fight caught on camera inside a middle school locker room.
A special surprise in Kalamazoo as a famous native, and New York City sports star, handed out gifts to hundreds of local kids Thursday night.