Father in midst of custody battle over surviving daughter

Published: Jun. 30, 2014 at 1:07 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2014 at 7:58 PM CDT
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Elijah Dixon is currently in Nebraska fighting a legal battle with the family claiming...
Elijah Dixon is currently in Nebraska fighting a legal battle with the family claiming guardianship of his surviving child. (Source: WAFF file)

MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A North Alabama father buried one of his daughters out-of-state on Saturday and is now fighting to bring his other daughter back to Madison County.

Elijah Dixon's daughter, Calista, died earlier this month when a tornado ripped through her mother's Nebraska mobile home. Mother Kandi Murphee was injured and remains in the hospital.

Her sister Robin survived, and when Dixon tried to bring her home after Saturday's funeral, he says Murphee's family served him with legal documents giving them guardianship.

Dixon's lawyer said an Alabama judge granted him an emergency custody order. She said in Alabama, a custody order should outweigh a guardianship, but isn't sure if a Nebraska judge will agree.

"Its like I lost them both in the same day," Elijah said. "I buried one and one was taken away. I am confused I don't know what to do next. I don't even know when  the next time it will be that I will see Robin again. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to go through; saying it breaks my heart is an understatement."

"He wants his daughter back and he is doing everything legally that he can to get her," said Dixon's attorney, Meteasa Collins. Collins said Dixon received an order signed by a Nebraska judge granting the Murphees guardianship while at the funeral for Calista.

Dixon is still in Nebraska, trying to get his daughter back, but right now he doesn't know where she is. While discussing the guardianship order at the funeral, Robin was placed in a car and taken away.

Dixon intends to file an emergency petition in that state in the hope of overruling the guardianship order.

He is set to have a court hearing over the custody of Robin August 8 in Madison County.   Murphee's family has a guardianship hearing over Robin August 12 in Nebraska. Dixon said he plans on attending both.

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