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Georgia family seeks return of slain daughter's child

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Corrissa Friends was shot to death August 11
  • Her estranged husband is wanted in connection with the killing
  • "The wheels of justice sometimes move a little slowly," police chief says

(CNN) -- A Georgia family whose daughter was killed is battling to get her 9-month-old child back from state custody in New York, where her estranged husband left the baby with relatives after her slaying.

Corrissa Friends, 21, was shot to death in her apartment in the Atlanta suburb of Riverdale, Georgia, on August 11, according to police. Her husband, Wisdom Jeffrey, is wanted in connection with her death and is now a fugitive, Riverdale Police Chief Samuel Patterson said.

Patterson said he believed Casey had been returned to the family by now. But Corey Friends, the slain woman's uncle, told HLN's "Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell" that the girl, "as far as I know, is in the state custody of New York."

"We are currently trying as hard as possible to get Casey back in the custody of my family," he said. He said the family had received an outpouring of support from friends in the Atlanta area, "and hopefully we can catch this guy and draw some kind of closure to this crazy situation."

Patterson said Corrissa Friends had moved several times around the Atlanta area to get away from Jeffrey, and that police had been called to the apartment about a domestic dispute the day before the killing. Officers found no evidence of violence at the apartment, and Jeffrey was not arrested. But because Jeffrey's name was not on the lease, they told him to leave at Friends' request, Patterson said.

Early the next morning, Patterson said, Jeffrey returned to the apartment and shot Corrissa three times with a shotgun -- twice from the front, once from behind. She was able to call 911, but died before an ambulance arrived, the chief said.

He said witnesses put Jeffrey at the apartment less than five minutes before the shooting, and police recovered the shotgun used in the killing at the scene. He said he expected Casey would be back with her maternal grandparents, but, "The wheels of justice sometimes move a little slowly from our perspective."

"It should have happened yesterday or the day before," Patterson said.