PORTLAND, Ore. - The baby whose mother dropped him from the window of her burning apartment to a waiting neighbor has been placed in state custody.
Gene Evans, spokesman with the state Department of Human Services, confirmed Wednesday that a Clackamas County juvenile court judge awarded the state temporary custody of 2-year-old Wani Lemi.
Evans said he could not talk about the reasons for the judge’s decision because of privacy laws.
Two other children of 25-year-old Kimberly Hasty, 6-year-old Apollo Lemi and 4-year-old Ladu Lemi, died inside the Oak Grove apartment Feb. 21 from smoke inhalation.
Wani Lemi is still getting treatment for burns at the burn center at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center.
Hasty told KATU News that she did everything she could to save her other two children but the hot smoke prevented her from doing so and they appeared to be already dead. She then dropped Wani into the arms of neighbor Jeff Bryant and then jumped out the window herself.
Reached by phone Wednesday afternoon in Utah, Gerald Hasty, Kimberly’s father, said doctors plan to release Wani from the hospital soon. And since Kimberly is still recovering from her own injuries and is having trouble taking care of herself, the court decided she would not be able to care for her son and ordered that he be placed in temporary state custody.
“That just ripped her heart out and put her in a depression today,” he said. “At this point in her life, the two of them need to heal together.”
He also said the court decision was especially devastating for his daughter because Tuesday was her birthday and the news was a terrible present from the state.
It is not known how long Wani will be in state custody and he said he doesn’t know yet how often his daughter will be able to see her son.
Kimberly Hasty spoke to KATU News Wednesday and said she is convinced the state took temporary custody of her son because she is an Oregon medical marijuana patient.
Fire investigators have not released the cause of the fire.