911 Call 'He's bleeding all over. I may have killed him'
Irish Times August 3rd 2015
Limerick man killed in domestic dispute in North Carolina
" Police in the US are continuing their investigation into the death of a Limerick man who was killed in a suspected domestic disturbance at his home in North Carolina. Jason Corbett (39), who is originally from the Janesboro area of Limerick city, was found at Panther Creek Court in Wallburg with fatal head injuries early on Sunday morning. The father of two children, Jack (8) and Sarah (10), moved to America four years ago after his first wife Mags Corbett died following an asthma attack in 2006 "
“There are persons of interest within the family,” Sheriff Grice said in a statement. “We are currently still investigating and waiting for autopsy results.”
Irish Times August 9th 2015
Sister of Limerick man killed in US fights to bring children home
The sister of a Limerick man found dead in the US last weekend has said she will not return to Ireland without her brother and his two children. Tracey Lynch travelled to North Carolina following the death of her brother Jason Corbett (39), who was found dead at his home last Sunday morning. The sister of a Limerick man found dead in the US last weekend has said she will not return to Ireland without her brother and his two children.
Police have confirmed they are not looking for anybody outside the family home as part of the ongoing investigation which has been referred to the District Attorney’s Office. No arrests have been made
In a statement issued through a family friend, Ms Lynch, a well known community activist in Limerick and CEO of Tait House in Southill said: “We will be staying in America until we can bring my brother and his children home. These children are Irish citizens, they hold Irish passports and all the family wants is to be able bring them home together with their father.”
" The Department of Foreign Affairs has offered consular assistance to the family.
A fundraising campaign called Jason’s Journey has also been established in Limerick to help the Corbett family deal with the travel and legal costs involved in trying to bring the children home.
Lexington Dispatch August 14th 2015
Additional details, including information over a custody battle, surfaced Friday surrounding the homicide of an Ireland native who was living in Wallburg up until his death earlier this month.
"Documents with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office indicate 39-year-old Jason Paul Corbett was struck with a baseball bat. Deputies responded to Corbett’s residence just after 3 a.m. Aug. 2. Deputy C.S. Dagenhardt wrote in a report that while Deputy D. Dillard was in route to an assault at 160 Panther Creek Court, the Davidson County 911 Center advised the caller had been in an argument with his son-in-law and struck him with a baseball bat. DCSO patrol deputies arrived at the address and found a man inside the home with head injuries. Deputies have two persons of interest, but the sheriff hasn’t released their names. Grice said there are no charges at this time, and his investigators will confer with the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office. According to a report from an Irish Daily Mail journalist, Corbett’s wife, 31-year-old Molly Martens Corbett, and her father, 65-year-old Thomas Michael Martens, a resident of Tennessee, are the two suspects in the case. “It’s a matter under investigation,” Thomas Martens said in a brief telephone interview. “I think it would be inappropriate for me to comment at this time. I’ll let the official investigation take its course.“
Freedman, who stated his client is cooperating with authorities, said the stepmother has been raising the children for the past eight years. He told The Dispatch it was in Jason Corbett’s will his sister be the guardian of the children. Freedman said the children’s parents are both dead. He said he’s been told their mother died when they were young from an asthma attack. " Molly Corbett, who went to Clemson University, met Jason Corbett by being the nanny for the children in Ireland" Freedman said. The attorney said Jason Corbett was working in the United States and living in Davidson County but didn’t know specifically why the Corbetts were in the United States
Irish Daily Mail August 16th 2015
I'm going to keep fight to keep the children
Stepmother and chief suspect in Irish father’s killing begins her dramatic custody battle with his sister. The two women battling for custody of Jason Corbett’s children have come face-to-face for the first time since his brutal death at the family’s US home. The tense courtroom showdown between Jason’s sister Tracey Lynch and his wife Molly Martens follows the bludgeoning to death of the Limerick man with a baseball bat at his luxurious residence in Panther Creek Court, North Carolina, earlier this month. At present, however, the children remain in the emergency custody of their stepmother, Mr Corbett’s wife Molly, despite detectives identifying her as a ‘person of interest’ in her husband’s death. Police also said that Molly’s parents Sharon and Thomas Martens – the latter has also been named as a ‘person of interest’ in the case – had been visiting the Corbett home that weekend.
Two weapons were recovered from the scene – including the baseball bat which police say was used in the incident. When officers arrived at the scene it was reported that the two children were unaware of what had happened to their father, who had been socialising with neighbours just hours earlier along with his wife. Police also said that Molly’s parents Sharon and Thomas Martens – the latter has also been named as a ‘person of interest’ in the case – had been visiting the Corbett home that weekend. Two weapons were recovered from the scene – including the baseball bat which police say was used in the incident.
" We want to go home with J and S and bury Jason " Lynch said. We're not burying Jason in Ireland without them "
Winston Salem Journal August 2015
Sister, wife of murdered Irish man in custody dispute
Tracey Lynch, Jason's older sister, said she flew to the United States from Ireland as soon as she heard of her brother's death and thought that she would get custody of the children, who were born in Ireland.
"When I got to New York, the Department of Social Services called and told me the situation had changed" Lynch said last week "The children were put in the care of their stepmother. " Lynch said her brother's will named her and her husband, David, legal guardians of his children should something happen to him. The will, however, was written before Corbett's marriage to Molly. The Davidson County Sheriffs Office has said that suspects in Jason's death were not being sought outside of the home. Other details in the investigation have not been released, but Sheriff David Grice told the Irish Daily Mail newspaper that Molly and her father, Thomas Martens, 65, of Knoxville, Tennessee are " persons of interest " in Jason's death. Neither Molly Corbett nor Martens has been criminally charged in the case. Grice told the Daily Mail that Jason was bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat.
" We want to go home with J and S and bury Jason " Lynch said. " We're not burying Jason in Ireland without them "
The Irish Mail August 16th 2015
ARREST OF BROTHER MINDING CORBETT CHILDREN
A SLAIN Irishman’s two children, who are at the centre of a bitter custody battle in the US, are staying with a man who was arrested last year for drunk driving with a child in the car. Jack, 10, and Sarah Corbett, eight, the children of Jason Corbett, who was found dead at his home after a domestic incident nearly a fortnight ago, have been placed in the temporary custody of their stepmother, Molly Martens, by North Carolina authorities.
RELATIVES of Limerick man Jason Corbett, who are fighting for custody of his two Irish children following his killing in North Carolina, have told the Irish Mail on Sunday they believe he and his American wife had been arguing in the months before his death about returning to Ireland and adoption issues.
"The kids are staying with people who have been named as suspects by police. That alone is horrifying,’ said Tracey’s eldest brother John to the MoS. ‘The main travesty of this whole thing is that Tracey hasn’t even been able to see the kids.’ He said that his brother’s second wife had asked Jason ‘on numerous occasions could she adopt the kids’. He continued: ‘ My brother refused to let Molly adopt the kids or for them to have any kind of dual citizenship. He added: ‘Jason had a strong sense of being Irish. ‘Most of the family advised him not to go to America and marry her,’ said John. ‘Molly’s best friends advised him not to move to America. Jason is no fool but at the time he was vulnerable, he was after losing his wife who was the mother of his kids, and before he left his exact words were, “I know this is probably not the right decision and I don’t feel that good about it, but I don’t want to take another mum away from my children.” Those were his exact words.’
John told the MoS that he and his siblings are ‘a very proud family, a very dignified family’. John Corbett also told Marian Finucane on RTÉ Radio yesterday how Molly’s mother Sharon Martens broke the horrific news to the Limerick man’s family in Ireland during a 50-second phone call. It has also emerged that Jason’s family were led to believe that the 39-year-old Limerick man had died in an accident. It was only when they made contact with police in the US that they discovered that he had been killed.
John said: ‘My brother Wayne was at home in my mum’s and he got a phone call and the name that came up on his phone was Molly Martens but it was actually Molly Martens’s mother. Sharon Martens was on the phone and it was a 50-second call.‘This will tell you they were so full of remorse for the loss of her son-in-law and that she said to my brother Wayne, “Wayne, there was an accident, your brother is dead” and hung up. ‘Wayne is absolutely traumatised. He is Jason’s twin and was only after spending 11-12 days with my brother Jason in North Carolina and had a wonderful time seeing his twin brother and so he is absolutely devastated. "It was 10 hours before we found out"
Independent August 17th 2015
Corbett's second wife tried to adopt children
A second day of hearings will take place in North Carolina today as the family of Irishman Jason Corbett, who was killed in the US, battle for custody of his two children. The Corbett family are hopeful that they will be able to return with Mr Corbett's two children Jack (10) and Sarah (8) later this week. The children's mother Mag's died in 2006 after suffering an asthma attack. His wife Molly was believed to have been the main suspect but police in the US have confirmed that her father Thomas Martens (65), a retired FBI agent, is also a "person of interest" She has been staying with her brother Robert, a federal agent with the Internal Revenue Service, while authorities decide if custody should be granted.
Mr Corbett's older brother John said that Jason's second wife, Molly Martens Corbett, had tried to adopt the children but that Jason was reluctant. He said this issue had caused friction and arguments between the pair. "Molly was trying to adopt the kids for the past two months but Jason always seemed reluctant and they did have rows about it," he said. "She was trying to persuade Jason to adopt the kids so that they could get US citizenship," he added. "You would think that would be a natural progression, but Jason did not want that. "When my brother Wayne was in North Carolina a week before Jason died, she said that she would like to adopt the kids. Jason didn't even respond."
It emerged over the weekend that the 911 call reporting the fatal domestic incident at Mr Corbett's US home was made by a man saying that he had struck his son-in law on the head with a baseball bat.
Mr Corbett died after suffering serious head injuries.
Fox 8 August 19th 2015
Davidson County children of Jason Corbett will return to Ireland
" LEXINGTON, N.C. — After a weeks-long custody battle, the children of a Davidson County man who was killed Aug. 2 will return to Ireland under the custody of their aunt and uncle.
Jason Corbett, 39, originally from Ireland, was killed in his Davidson County home. He left behind his second wife, Molly Corbett, and his two children, Sarah and Jack.
Davidson County sheriff’s deputies have not made any arrests but said they are not looking for anyone outside the home.
The children’s biological mother had died years prior. Court papers reveal that Corbett never consented for his second wife, Molly, to formally adopt the children.
Court papers also show that in Corbett’s will, he expressed his desire for Jack and Sarah to return to Ireland should he die.
Molly Corbett nonetheless sought to adopt the children, as her attorney said she was the “only mother they had ever known.” " “The kids will be back soon!!” they posted to the Facebook page, “Bring Jack and Sarah Home.”
Independent August 19th 2015
Corbett children: Stepmother Molly was seeking legal advice about divorce and custody two years ago
Jason Corbett’s wife Molly Martens was seeking legal advice about divorce and custody of his two children two years before his death, it has been revealed. The revelations, set out in US court papers, demonstrated Ms Martens’ preparations for a possible marriage split. The US court heard that in June/ July 2013, Mr Martens (31) confided to a family friend, Lynn Shanahan, that she sought legal advice on custody of the children in the event of a divorce. The court also heard that “in the Fall of 2014, Molly Corbett spoke to attorney about her rights to the children. Meanwhile, the Limerick grandmother of Sarah and Jack has told how she was told by Sarah on the phone that “she was happy as Larry and she loves me”.
Rita and John Corbett, whose son Jason was killed at his home in North Carolina, told the Irish Examiner of their ongoing trauma. “It has been a nightmare. It should never have come to this. We just had to cope,” John (80), a retired truck driver said. Rita added: “At least we will now be able to grieve and my son can rest in peace. That’s what we want. He wouldn’t rest in peace if his children were not brought home. I was speaking to Sarah yesterday. She was as happy as Larry and told me she loved me.”
Independent August 20th 2015
US judge on Corbett custody children: Jack and Sarah are citizens of Ireland
Jason Corbett's second wife would not have been given custody of his children, even if he had failed to appoint a guardian in his will. Clerk of Davidson County Superior Court Brian Shipwash said that " it was not in the best interests of Jack (10) and Sarah (8) Corbett to award custody to their American stepmother. "I was asked to make such a decision on the lives of two incredibly precious children who have had to deal with the deaths of both their natural parents," said Mr Shipwash.
"To have peace with my decision, I removed the outside influencing factors and evaluated the purity of what would be in the children's best interest in a positive, loving and supportive environment to develop and mature." Jack and Sarah's father, Jason Corbett, was killed on August 2 after a domestic incident at his home. Their mother, Mag's, had died in 2006 after suffering an asthma attack.
The judge said that he had deliberated long and hard over his decision - and that he had prayed for the children.
Independent 20th August 2015
Molly Martens leaves courtroom in tears as judge rules final decision on custody dispute children
Jason Corbett's wife Molly Martens Corbett left the courtroom in tears today after a judge ruled the pair of Irish children at the centre of an emotional custody dispute can return to Ireland with their aunt and uncle.
"Our clients are happy to go home to Ireland and grieve with their family," she said with tears in her eyes. "They're relieved to take the children with them so they can love them and help them process their grief and take care of them."
Corbett Martens' lawyers and family had no comment.
Irish Times August 21st 2015
There were concerns over a possible delay in bringing Jack (10) and Sarah (8) Corbett back to Limerick, after their American stepmother Molly Martens lodged an late appeal against a decision to grant custody of the children to their paternal aunt Tracey Lynch and her husband David. However, it is understood the appeal process could take several months and the two children landed at Shannon Airport on Saturday morning.
On Thursday, Judge April Woods at Davidson County Court in North Carolina dismissed the case of Ms Martens, who was seeking custody of her Irish step children. The dismissal meant the guardianship ruling made by Brian Shipwash, Clerk of the Superior Court of North Carolina earlier this week stands, paving the way for the children to finally return to Ireland"
Speaking on Limerick’s Live95fm radio today, John Corbett a brother of the late Jason Corbett said the decision to appeal was very calculating. “It just shows you the pure callousness and coldness of the Martens family, especially Molly Martens in this desperate attempt to try and prevent my brother’s children to return to their true family because a senior family court judge decided that the long term future and care of Sarah and Jack would be the most beneficial with his true family in Ireland”
Irish Times August 22nd 2015
Children at centre of US custody battle arrive in Limerick
Woman and father ‘persons of interest’ in investigation into Irishman’s death
There were concerns over a possible delay in bringing Jack (10) and Sarah (8) Corbett back to Limerick, after their American stepmother Molly Martens lodged an late appeal against a decision to grant custody of the children to their paternal aunt Tracey Lynch and her husband David.
However, it is understood the appeal process could take several months and the two children landed at Shannon Airport on Saturday morning.
Independent August 23rd 2015
Jason Corbett to be laid to rest this Wednesday alongside his first wife
Limerick man, Jason Corbett, is to be laid to rest on Wednesday alongside his "soul mate" and mother of his two children, who were at the centre of a bitter custody battle in the US. Mr Corbett, 39, was found with critical head injuries at his North Carolina home following a domestic disturbance on August 2nd last.
His body will lay in repose at Cross's Funeral Home from 5.30pm Tuesday evening, with removal at 7pm to Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Janesboro. A piper is to play at Mr Corbett's graveside on Wednesday, before two white birds are released into the sky while he is to be laid to rest.
"It's to signify that Jason and Mag's are finally together, as they always wanted to be," John Corbett a brother of the deceased said.
Irish Mirror August 24th 2015
Stepmum’s desperate plea to talk with Jack and Sarah: Lawyer speaks out as Corbetts plan for funeral
Molly Martens lawyer said: "Her whole world revolved around those children and it’s been ripped away from her." Little Jack and Sarah Corbett arrived in Ireland on Saturday with their dad’s family, despite Ms Martens’ fight to keep the kids with her in the US. She and her dad Thomas have been named as “interested persons” in Jason’s death. But speaking yesterday, Mr Freedman revealed they will plead not guilty if any charges are brought against them. And he also appealed to the Corbett family to let the kids stay in touch with Molly. “I know that it’s very important for Molly to stay in touch with his children.
“We wanted them staying here because they’ve known her for eight years, we thought consistency and security for the children is very important.” He added Jason had “a lot of faith” in Ms Martens as a mother.
“She would’ve liked to have had more legal rights over the children, but he never granted that.
“The children were living a good life, I saw a number of Mother’s Day cards, drawings of the family.
“All the neighbours believed Molly was their natural mother.” He told RTE Radio’s News at 1 yesterday: “I feel neither Molly or Mr Martens have committed any criminal acts.” And when asked whether his clients would plead not guilty if a charge was brought against them, he said: “I’d be hard-pressed to see why they would do anything else”.
Jason's funeral was delayed until his family got Jack and Sarah home to Limerick. His sister-in-law Catherine Fitzpatrick revealed: “I don’t think he ever grieved, or got over losing Mag's, because she was the love of his life. “We just want to lay him to rest with her. It’s what he wanted, and we want his kids home.”
Irish Times August 25th 2015
Hundreds attend Jason Corbett removal in Limerick
Children of Limerick man found dead in US arrived in Ireland last weekend
'We have to face life without him': Jason Corbett's funeral takes place
Lynch delivered the eulogy at the funeral, which took place at Our Lady Queen of Peace church in Janesboro. Limerick’s Live95 reports that Lynch said Corbett never got over the 2006 death of his first wife and the mother of his children, Mag's. “For a time he was as happy as a man could be. After Mag's died, he lived his life with dignity but he was a lost soul and the light and spark was never fully replaced.
Today, on the day he was due home with his children to Ireland, we have to face bravely our life without him. Our lives have been better for having him as part of ours. He enriched our lives."
Lynch said he hopes to help fulfil the dreams Corbett had for his children: “I know my brother left a lot of things undone and others that he never had a chance to start, but I promise I will continue what he started and hopefully fulfil his dream for him. This is just my small way of saying thank you for everything he did for me.”
Irish Daily Mail August 26th 2015
Death will not have the last word PRIEST’S TRIBUTE TO JASON
AS Jason Corbett’s remains finally arrived at his local church last night, a priest told his grieving family: ‘Death will not have the last word.’ Three weeks after his violent death in the USA, hundreds of mourners gathered outside Cross’s Funeral Home, Limerick, where Mr Corbett lay in repose in a solid mahogany coffin. ‘The age- old vigil ritual of prayer and scripture starts at the time of death so your family vigil has been much longer than most. We can only compliment you all on the great dignity and patience you have shown.’
Mr Corbett’s children, who have now lost both their parents in tragic circumstances, were understandably spared the added trauma of attending their father’s removal service.
But a single floral tribute, decorated in white roses, from Mr Corbett’s children, which simply read ‘Daddy’, was placed by his coffin. Fr O’Sullivan said: ‘As we gather here, we keep in our minds and hearts Jason’s children Jack and Sarah.’
There were emotional scenes as Mr Corbett’s five brothers, John, Michael, Stephen, Christopher and his twin, Wayne, shouldered the coffin into the church on the first leg of his final journey.
A plaque containing Mr Corbett’s photograph was laid on top of the coffin, surrounded by bouquets of flowers. Speaking exclusively to the Irish Daily Mail, Fr O’Sullivan said: ‘There is no way to describe what the family has been through but now is the time when we can think of laying Jason to rest.’
Local Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins, who was at the removal, said: ‘It’s going to be a tough few days for the family, and obviously I’m coming in to pay my respects. ‘This week is about mourning and allowing people the time and space to mourn.’ He added ‘At least the children are back and are with their guardian, the guardian that Jason wanted for them.
‘It’s to signify that Jason and Mag's are finally together, as they always wanted to be,’ John Corbett said.
Ms Fitzpatrick’s sister Catherine, added: ‘We just want to lay him to rest with her. It’s what he wanted.’
‘It’s been a devastating time’
Journal.ie August 28th 2015
'I miss you every minute': Stepmother to Jason Corbett's children shares memories online
Molly Martens and her father have been described as ‘persons of interest’ by the police.
MOLLY MARTENS, THE wife of Jason Corbett, has been sharing memories online of her time with the two children who were removed from her custody. Writing about the children, Martens stated on her Facebook page:
" I miss you every second of every minute of every hour of every day… I know you are being so strong and so brave and I am so proud of you."
Recounting memories and posting photos of the children, Martens writes:
Do you remember this day? After a long, fun day at the pool with minimal streamline work, we came home to roast marshmallows. “Roast” may not be the most appropriate word choice as Jack – your attempt at roasting involved catching the marshmallow on fire as soon as possible and eating off the charred remains, and yours, Sarah Beara, involved the marshmallow roasting from such a safe distance that one could hardly declare it warm. Nevertheless, we laughed and ate and chased after fireflies when we were stuffed with marshmallows and cheesy poofs. I will not forget a single moment of so many seemingly normal days. They are precious to me. You are precious."
She also writes about a holiday they had in Ireland, where she says they visited Dublin Castle, the Leprechaun Museum, Christ Church and Dublin Zoo.
" You were only three and five but you walked for miles and I was so proud. We had croissants with Nutella for breakfast one morning and a full Irish breakfast the next morning at the hotel. You thought it was so fancy…… You are both so sweet, so caring, and so good. You will always be the best thing in my life. I know you are being so brave and so strong. If you ever see this, know that I think about you every moment."
Freedman said the woman is “distraught” as her “whole world revolved around those children”.
"Molly had been a mother to those children for the past eight years and to have people come and take away the children from her in the middle of the night, away from the only mother they’ve known, I thought was a fairly callous act"
Independent.ie August 28th 2015
'I was never the mom who was happy it was time for school again' - Jason Corbett wife's message to children
Molly Martens Corbett, one of two 'persons of interest' in the killing of Jason Corbett, has said she misses the children she cared for "every second of every day". Mr Corbett (39), from Janesboro in Limerick city, died on August 2 in his home in North Carolina during a 'domestic disturbance'. He was laid to rest on Wednesday following an intense custody battle with his sister, Tracey Lynch, and her husband, over Mr Corbett's two children, Jack (10) and Sarah (8). Mr Corbett was buried with the children's biological mother, Margaret Fitzpatrick, who died in 2006.
It has emerged that since the family arrived home last Saturday, Ms Martens has published a series of messages on Facebook, along with a phone number and email address. "I was never the mom who was happy it was time for school again. I savoured my summers with you, my kids, my best friends. I would do anything right now to be getting you ready for third and fifth grade today; to be brushing out the tangles and making back to school gluten-free pancakes, to be packing your lunches with notes of love and hope and waiting all day to see how it went. I miss you munchkins. "When I look at a snapshot of you, my loves, I do not just see you. I see the day we had, I feel the snow in our mittens or the excitement of the meet ahead. I love you with all of my heart." I know you are being so strong and so brave and I am so proud of you. I miss you every second of every minute of every hour of every day."
The Irish Mail August 30th 2015
Model to murder probe: who is Molly Martens?
SMOULDERING eyes and cascading blond hair, Molly Martens stares seductively into the camera. Her flowing white crop top and matching skirt show off her tiny belly button and washboard stomach, and she leans back sexily to look down into the lens. This is not the Molly Martens we’re used to seeing.
It’s a very far cry from the public image the American has been portraying since the August 2 death of her Limerick husband, Jason Corbett, in their North Carolina home. Police say both Molly and her father, retired FBI agent Thomas Martens, are ‘persons of interest’ in the murder investigation. Jason died of head injuries inflicted by a baseball bat.
Her posts this week on Facebook have been epic, as she describes in great, great detail, memories of trips or day-time fun with the children – addressing them directly to Jack and Sarah. She has posted her mobile number repeatedly during the week; when contacted, she says it’s just so the kids can get in touch with her, and she declines interviews.
Mr Earnest describes Tom Martens, who is married to his sister, as ‘one of the finest people I have known. He says: ‘He’s the quintessential father. He explains: ‘I think that Molly really came to be who she always hoped she could be when she came into Jack and Sarah’s life. I think she has been, and is, the quintessential mother.’
Both her family and the Corbetts, however, claim all was not what it seemed inside this typically American Norman Rockwell-esque household. According to allegations made in custody documents by Tracey Lynch, family members over a number of years witnessed Molly exhibiting volatile and worrying behaviour. Molly’s lawyer, David Freedman, categorically denies all the claims, saying the court clerk found both parties fit to have custody of the children but ultimately made the decision to put the children in the care of their Irish relatives based on Jason’s will.
And the story being told by Molly Martens’ family is far different from the one coming from her late husband’s relatives. As she battles for custody of the children and insists she has been the only mother they’ve really known, her relatives have come to her defence. Molly’s cousin, Amanda Mui, who lives in Florida, posted a supportive message on Facebook last week. She wrote: ‘After surviving years of emotional and physical abuse from her late husband, she [Molly] is now fighting to retain custody of the children she’s raised for years now.
Journal.ie August 31st 2015
Seeing Jack and Sarah being taken from Molly was 'the most heart-wrenching scene'
Molly Martens spoke briefly to Newstalk Breakfast this morning
Molly Martens told Newstalk Breakfast that she has not talked to Jack and Sarah since her last visitation before they left for Ireland. Her voice fraught with emotion, she said that she was under the impression it was just a visitation, not a final goodbye.
Her uncle Mike Ernest, however, described those last moments before the children were removed from his niece’s care as the “most heart-wrenching scene I’ve ever had to be part of”. The visitation happened in the courthouse and, again, he reiterated that there was nothing in the order that said it would be the last time they would see the children. “Molly took photo albums and showed them to the kids and tried to lift up their spirits,” he recalled, adding that they told each other how much they loved each other. “That was the last time Molly saw the children.” Ernest conceded that the court had to make a “complex and difficult decision” but could not understand how the children were not interviewed. The judge decided he didn’t want to cause them any further trauma by doing so. But Ernest said that they would have welcomed that over the trauma of being taken from their mother. He also claimed that Jason Corbett had “made several steps” to ensure he and his children got US citizenship.
“In the week before he died, had a conversation with my wife about seeking US citizenship but still retain Irish citizenship,” he said, noting that his last will was written seven years previous. In that will, guardianship was given to his sister. Meanwhile, Martens continues to publish emotional Facebook posts to the children. She recounts memories and adds photos of them in happier times.
“Just a normal evening for Jack and Sarah on a late spring evening,” she wrote today.
Accompanying the message were a number of images from their father’s Facebook page.
“Sarah, do you remember peeling the carrot for the mama and baby rabbits in the back woods? Jack, I’m sure you recall passing the football. And it was at our home, in your father’s words, our “home sweet home”,” she continued. " I miss seeing you, holding you, hearing you, and watching you grow. I am certain you have changed so much already in the two weeks I haven’t heard from you. I am also certain that you have a strong foundation of character and mind. You will remember with truth of your lives and have faith in my love for you.