The shockingly underweight infant who came to be known publicly as “Baby Riley” will remain in his current foster care home along with his sister for now.
A custody hearing was held Wednesday afternoon in 355th Judicial District Court, and a case worker with Children’s Protective Services testified that Riley Alston and Katelynn Alston are both doing well.
Riley was 8 months old and weighed only 9 pounds when he was discovered in his home in the 4000 block of Rance Drive in the Sandy Beach subdivision. Brittany Nichole Oliphant-Alston, the mother of Riley and Katelynn, was arrested along with Riley’s father, Justin Lee Alston, and both are charged with felony injury to a child, a first-degree felony ($150,000 bond).
Justin Alston and Brittany Alston have not lost legal custody of the two children. They both remain in custody – Justin in the Hood County Jail and Brittany in the Somervell County Jail. Both were 21 when they were arrested.
Lori Kaspar, an assistant district attorney for Hood County, said that the parents’ trial has been moved to late October.
“The CPS case is ongoing,” Kaspar said. “I don’t expect a final hearing until December.”
The case worker, Rachel Phillips, also testified before Judge Ralph Walton that a DNA test showed that Katelynn is the daughter of another man.
“(Another man) was adjudicated as the father of Katelynn following the results of a DNA test,” Kaspar said.
Riley’s paternal grandmother has told authorities she is interested in legally adopting Riley and Katelynn. She lives in another state, but indicated she intends to move to Hood County.
“CPS will be completing a home study to determine whether her home would be suitable,” Kaspar said.
Phillips testified that Katelynn’s father came to her office about a week and a half before the hearing and told her he would not seek legal custody of Katelynn, who was 18 months old at the time Riley was rescued. Walton ordered the father to pay $200 a month in child support. Riley’s weight recently surpassed 23 pounds, Phillips testified. He was transported from Granbury to Cook Children’s Medical Center and was originally listed in critical condition. In the aftermath of the two arrests, Sheriff Roger Deeds stated that Riley’s case was the most severe instance of child neglect he had ever seen.
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