YARDLEY, Pa. (CBS) — Family members say the man who killed his young daughter in a murder-suicide in Manayunk had a violent history. The girl’s aunt said the man bit off another’s ear during a bar fight.
Seven-year-old Kayden Mancuso was found dead in her father’s home on the 4500 block of Wilde Street in Manayunk on Monday morning. The body of 41-year-old Jeffrey Mancuso was discovered in a second-floor bedroom. Authorities say he died in an apparent suicide.
Kayden’s parents were in the middle of a custody dispute at the time of her death.
Despite having a documented history of violence, and a restraining order against Kayden’s mother, Mancuso was still allowed visitation rights.
“The guy has a documented history of violence. He had bitten off a man’s ear in a bar fight and was on house arrest,” said Kerrin Paul, Kayden’s aunt.
“I had a restraining order against him, he wasn’t allowed to contact me, he wasn’t allowed to contact our family,” said Heather Giglio, the young girl’s aunt. “We had a restraining order against him for my sister, but yet he can have his 7-year-old daughter near him?”
Questions are being raised why a court system didn’t prevent Mancuso from being alone with his daughter in the first place.
“Knowing the system, this isn’t something that happens everyday,” said Karen Ulmer Pendergast, a child custody attorney.
She explained why the courts may have allowed Kayden’s father unsupervised visits despite his violent history.
Anytime there was a criminal record more than 10 years, it is not even usually relevant in a custody case. I did look up the docket in this particular case and it was not 10 years, but it wasn’t necessarily more recent as far as the aggressive behavior,” said Pendergast.
According to Pendergast, family courts also rationalize that just because someone is violent toward adults, it does not mean they’ll be violent towards a child.
A vigil is being held for Kayden Tuesday night at Edgewood Elementary School.