Hours before a father and young son were found dead in a suicide attempt in a Fort Lauderdale apartment, the boy’s mother tried to remove him from his father’s custody. She said he followed her and sent her new threatening text messages showing court files.
Mother Alison Kessler’s lawyers filed an urgent motion on Friday to remove 4-year-old Greyson Kessler from the care of his father, 47-year-old John Stacey.
Hours later, around 10 p.m. on Friday, police found the bodies of Stacey and Greyson in Staceys Las Olas by the River Condo Unit.
Fort Lauderdale police confirmed Monday that the deaths of Stacey and Greyson appear to be a suicide. A preliminary investigation revealed that Stacey shot and killed his son before pointing the gun at himself.
Police believe the shootings took place sometime on Thursday.
Police are investigating after a father and young son were found dead in Fort Lauderdale.
The emergency collection order, according to which the police should have taken the boy from his father, was rejected by a judge. According to Sun Sentinel, the judge said the motion “is not an emergency as it addresses the issue of visiting children.”
In a statement by the 17th district of justice it is said that the judges are prohibited from commenting on pending proceedings.
“The 17th judiciary is aware of the tragic situation that was reported on the news over the weekend. Judges are prohibited from commenting on pending proceedings and cannot discuss the details of orders,” said the Explanation. “It cannot be emphasized enough that anyone who has reason to believe that a child or other person is in danger should call law enforcement – either way. We speak our deepest words to the family and mother of this terrible event Condolences. “”
According to the motion, Kessler and Stacey had agreed to a timeshare schedule, but when Kessler found that Stacey hadn’t taken the boy to school on Thursday or Friday, she reached out to him but he didn’t answer calls or text messages.
Kessler wrote that Stacey “consistently followed and harassed” her through text and voice messages, saying that the threats and comments increased once Stacey believed Kessler had a boyfriend.
“You can’t go out with other people. Either me or nobody. Or I’ll remove child support and quintuple the text volume. You have a choice, Ali,” Stacey wrote in a May 14 text message, according to court records.
On May 18, he sent a vulgar message describing Kessler as a “hideous pig”.
“You get what you deserve. You are not even human,” Stacey wrote a text message according to the request. “You deserve to have your head separated from your body. But I’m not a violent guy. God will treat you.”
Kessler had worried that Stacey had put a tracker on her car based on comments he made about places she went, including when she walked into a courthouse on May 19.
“Obviously you’re trying to take legal action against me hanging out at the courthouse. What’s the status?” According to court records, Stacey texted him. “You should probably tell me now instead of waiting for me to find out.”
The next day, Kessler said she found a tracker on her car that she reported to the police.
Kessler also said Stacey has been a member of a cult called “The Moonies” for five years but has not received therapy to treat his time in the cult, the court records say.
“The increasing erratic behavior of the father is very worrying given his looming dismemberment, tracking of every move of the mother and his disappearance with the child of the parties during the mother’s timeshare,” the motion said.
Fort Lauderdale police said they are still investigating.
“This is a parent’s worst nightmare. We know the mother and family of the child’s victim are in immense grief at this point. We want to make sure they and our community conduct a full investigation into this incident,” police said in a statement.
In a statement Monday, Kessler’s family said they were devastated by Greyson’s death.
“Greyson was the kindest, smartest, liveliest kid we have ever seen. Greyson’s mother, Alison Kessler, went out of her way to protect her child from harm. We feel that the system is us on every level, from hers Lawyer to lawyer, the failed police department, to the court system, “was the explanation. “There were many red flags from John Stacey that were never responded to, despite Alison reporting on his bizarre and threatening behavior and going through all the right channels. This tragedy could have been prevented if appropriate measures had been taken to target Alison and Greyson help Greyson was the light of our lives, and the world is darker without him. “
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