DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – With 30-year-old Claudena Helton behind bars on charges of attempted aggravated murder and felonious assault, the question remains: what will happen to her children now?
Montgomery County Juvenile Court Judge Tony Capizzi said in situations like this one, child services moves quickly.
“What’s sad in this situation, of course, are the severe injuries to two children,” Capizzi said.
“But every single day in this county, we have children who need to be removed from their family for a variety of reasons. It’s not unique that the agency needs to look at removing two or three children,” Capizzi said. “It’s extremely unique that two of the children are fighting for their lives in hospital while this investigation goes on.”
Police say Helton shot her eight-year-old daughter Kamora and six-year-old son Kendon to the head, at their Lori Sue Avenue home before dragging them outside.
Her eleven-year-old daughter was also in the house at the time of the shooting but was not injured.
“Children Services will file likely for custody of the three children – the two that are injured and the one that wasn’t injured in the incident,” Capizzi said.
“I’m not sure if there’s family, relatives able to care for the children if they are, they obviously have a right to have the children as long as that’s a safe situation for the children.”
Montgomery County Child Services confirmed there is an open case against Helton.
They said they’re now working, in light of her arrest, to see to the welfare of her three children – whether they are placed in foster care or sent to live with a relative.
But Capizzi noted just because a parent gets arrested, doesn’t automatically guarantee he or she will lose custody.
“Obviously the facts in each case are different,” Capizzi said.
“The reality is, just became a person gets in trouble and goes to prison doesn’t mean they can’t at some point in the future be an appropriate parent.”
In a statement, Children Services called the incident an “unimaginable tragedy”.
They encourage anyone who thinks they see potential signs of child abuse, to contact them.