LI woman pushes for child custody protection law

Posted: Updated:

A Port Washington woman whose young daughter was killed by the girl's father is pushing for new legislation that would offer more protection for children.

Jacqueline Franchetti says her 2-year-old daughter Kyra was killed in 2016 by Kyra's father. He shot the toddler, set his house in Virginia on fire, and then killed himself.

Franchetti says during a custody battle, she told the court that Kyra's father was suicidal and abusive.

"It should have never happened, she should have never been in that house," Franchetti says. "We were going through the New York family court system and and the entire institution failed her."

On Tuesday, Franchetto says the U.S. House of Representatives approved a measure to better protect children in family court. It would require courts to carefully consider a spouse's past when it comes to violence or mental health before granting visitation or custody.

Rep. Tom Suozzi helped work on the legislation, which is now headed to the Senate.

As work is being done to better protect children during custody issues, there is also a push to improve the Amber Alert system, for when a child is kidnapped by their own parent.

Donna Amoscato is a friend of 2-year-old Jovani Ligurgo's family. The toddler was killed by his father John this past June after John set his Coram home on fire, killing himself and his son in Virginia. Jovani's brother Anthony wants there to be better communication among agencies when a child may be in danger.

Jovani's family says the Amber Alert system failed them and that they are working with lawmakers to make changes like letting local police issue Amber Alerts.

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