FAMILY FIGHT: Family fights over custody of 6-year-old's body

TEXAS CITY, TX (KTRK) -- A family in Galveston County is fighting over custody of a 6-year-old boy's body.

The child, Mar'nijah Lamar Williams, was found dead in his father's custody in Texas City on December 5.

Carolyn Stewart, the child's grandmother, wants to know how he died. Steward said she raised Mar'nijah in the absence of his mother, who has been in prison. She said a court granted his father, David Brown, custody of Mar'nijah last year.

"He only seen this baby four times out of six years," Stewart said. "Not because we didn't want him to see him, but because he didn't want to see him."

According to the Texas City Police Department, Mar'nijah was found unconscious at the father's house on December 5 and later pronounced dead.

The cause of death is under investigation.

The boy's father and grandmother filed requests with the Galveston County Medical Examiner's Office to send the boy's body to different funeral homes, according to court documents.

Stewart's attorney, Tim Beeton, said Brown wanted the body cremated before the criminal investigation was complete.

"Certainly there was the agent of the father, Carnes Funeral Home, representing to the medical examiner's office that they wanted to release the body for cremation," Beeton said.

Brown told Eyewitness News he does not want his son's body to be cremated. His attorney did not return phone calls requesting interviews.

"We want answers," Stewart said. "We want the truth, and the truth will come out."

A judge decided Monday that Mar'nijah's body will not go anywhere until the investigation is complete, according to the medical examiner's office.

A new hearing is set for February 23 to determine which family member will receive custody of the body once the investigation is complete. null
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