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Trial for guardianship over boy in Amber Alert set for November

Posted at 6:34 PM, Sep 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-28 16:38:23-04

A trial date is set to determine whether a boy who was abducted from his home last month will be declared a dependent by the court. 

On Wednesday, Danielle Caprio, the mother of the boy and her father who was named as a suspect in the Amber Alert, went before a judge. Both are battling for what they believe is best for the four-year-old child. 

"There was no request for shelter. Thus court just said, okay I saw this affidavit and I'm going to temporarily...," said Attorney Sandor Genet in court before Judge Kirk Volker jumped in. 

"I'm aware of that, and that's why I wanted to make visits a lot more frequent than ordinarily I might cause quite frankly I'm not extremely comfortable with this whole arrangement legally," said Judge Volker. 

The judge responded to Danielle Caprio's attorney who respectfully admitted to the court that he and his client were not sure why the court reinstated a Boston judge's decision to leave guardianship of the boy in the hands of Louis and Elizabeth Caprio, his grandparents. 

Police say the boy's nanny, Blanca Castro abducted the boy, but when they issued an Amber Alert they named the Caprios as suspects. 

After the child was safely returned through an attorney's help, Danielle Caprio took her son to Boston where her mother lives. There, she checked herself into a drug treatment center and gave temporary guardianship of her son to her mother. 

"My clients have been informed by people who have been living in that home the time Dominic was in that home, that the maternal grandmother is an alcoholic, that she is a de-stabilizing influence," said attorney David Benjamin, representing Louis and Elizabeth Caprio. 

Benjamin said his clients believed the boy was in danger, despite a Boston Police report that says a well-being check was performed and the child was safe and healthy. And yet, a judge in Boston granted guardianship to the Caprios, so they could return to Florida and have a judge sort out guardianship in the state. 

The judge has ordered visitation for Danielle and her son, along with FaceTime calls, but she says they have been difficult to facilitate. 

"They have stepped up, they've seen a dangerous situation that presented itself to their grandchild. They've stepped up, they are not doing this for any other reason than his interest or his benefit, however they have lives," said Benjamin in court.  

"We have a mother here whose child has been removed from her and she now has a trial set, I think November second and if the petition that has been filed is not proven, that child is going to go right back ot her. I'm just saying we are going to have to be a little bit more willing to arrange our schedules for his," said the judge.  

"I started calling from my mom's phone because I seem to have better luck getting through on my mother's phone for some reason," said Danielle Caprio in court. 

"There's a call and it's dropped, there's a call and it's dropped," said Benjamin about the issues connecting through FaceTime.

Trying to find a happy medium, the judge ordered FaceTime attempts be made by Louis Caprio instead of the boy's mother and visitation to happen any time with a 72-hour notice. Where the boy could have supervised visits with his mother was another issue. 

"Me and my son have a very close bond. I ask him things, he's, he's very responsive. I am ask him Dom, do you want to go the park or do you want to go to Game Time," said Danielle.

The judge agreed to leave the location up to the child. Benjamin said the boy's grandfather and wife are not trying to be difficult. They claim Danielle Caprio's issues with drug addiction has led them to the courts. 

"There's a lot of people, a lot of witnesses that we want to talk to, confirm are willing to talk and explain the background of what the mother out this child through because of her addiction and how that's really affected this 4-year-old for the worst," added Benjamin.

The Jupiter Police Department and the State Attorney's Office will not comment on whether Louis Caprio is still a suspect in the Amber Alert investigation. The case is still open.