Family fights over missing woman's son - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Family fights over missing woman's son

According to her aunt, when Richarda Tillman Lockett disappeared last February, the missing woman's husband, Lou Lockett, was the last person seen with her.  Now, the family is fighting over Lou Lockett's custody of the couple's young son.

Richarda's father, Lester Tillman, said trouble was brewing shortly before his daughter disappeared.

"She talked to me on the phone. She was afraid of him she had fears of him cause she was getting ready to leave him," Lester Tillman said.

According to Tillman, police took Lou Locket in for questioning, but later released him, saying homicide investigators didn't have a body, or any other evidence, to charge him or anyone else at that time.

While Lou Locket was in custody, Richarda's aunt, Richarda Prichard, was given custody of the missing woman's infant son, Donnell. The family cared for the child for about eight months, but after several juvenile court hearings, Lou Lockett was awarded custody.

"I had to hand the baby to him, and that was devastating for me," Prichard said.

Now, Prichard and other family members are hoping an appeal hearing scheduled Thursday in Juvenile Court will take custody away from Lou Lockett and give it back to them.

"As I understand it, the state went for this appeal," Tillman said. "The state was the one that wanted to grant the appeal, because they thought it was a wrongful judgment, as well as us."

Family members claim Lou Lockett hasn't allowed them to see Donnell since the court took him away in October.

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