It's been a month since Josh Fielder has seen his little girl, and he's not sure when he'll see her again. Her mom, 28-year-old Miranda Ferguson, did not return the girl following a week of visitation.
Fielder said, "Just trying to get my daughter back home, we just miss her, and we want her in a stable environment, we feel she's continually being abused and manipulated."
But Ferguson claims it's Fielder that's abusing their daughter, and her lawyers say that's why the mom took the seven-year-old away.One of her lawyers, Joe Mathew, said "Miranda's doing what any mother who actually cares about their child would do, which is protect that child with their life if need be."
Ferguson's lawyers held a news conference Tuesday afternoon at the Jack Brooks Federal Building in Beaumont, because they believe Jasper County authorities are not doing anything to protect the girl. They say psychologist, Roy R. Luepnitz, Ph.D., and Bryan, Texas police officer David Long believe the girl has been the victim of abuse. Another one of Ferguson's lawyer is civil rights attorney, Randall Kallinen, and Kallinen says he has not ruled out filing a federal civil rights lawsuit against Jasper County. He said, "When a government fails to protect one of its citizens, after much evidence has been presented, like in this particular case, you can file a federal lawsuit under the Civil Rights Act."
But Fielder and his lawyer Michael Ratcliff call Ferguson's allegations all lies, and three Jasper County judges have sided with the dad. Also, the child advocacy center, the Garth House, interviewed the girl and found no evidence to support the claims that Fielder had abused his daughter. But Fielder's lawyer Shane Kersh called the Garth House an arm of Jasper County, that gets funding from Jasper County Sheriff's and District Attorney's offices.
Ratcliff said he was offended by Kersh's depiction of the Garth House, saying it does great investigative and objective work for our region.
Fielder did not expect Ferguson to be at the news conference in Beaumont, but just in case he had Jefferson County deputy constables on standby to arrest her. Ferguson was a no-show, and although Fielder did not recover his daughter Tuesday, he did have a message for his little girl.
Fielder said, "I love you, hope to see you soon, we're trying to find you, and get this all worked out, and get you back to your normal life, it's been a rough year for her."
Ferguson's lawyers say they don't expect her to return until the arrest warrants against her and her parents are dismissed. She's currently on probation for a previous charge of interfering with custody, and if arrested, that probation will be revoked.
As for an Amber Alert, Fielder's lawyer says one has not been issued because evidence must be shown that the girl is in imminent danger. Fielder says his daughter has not been in school since her disappearance.