CRIME

Father Feared For Son Before Boy's Body Was Found In Swing

06/01/2015 05:19 pm ET | Updated Jun 01, 2015

Weeks before the heartbreaking and so far unsolved death of a 3-year-old Maryland boy, whose body was found in a park swing being pushed by his mother, his parents had fought in court over his custody.

The father of Ji'Aire Lee said he deserved full custody of his son because the child's mother had acted erratically, according to Washington, D.C., court records obtained by The Washington Post.

Though James "Donnell" Lee contended in D.C. Superior Court in mid-May that Romechia Simms was mentally unsteady and had even jumped from a moving cab with their son, he ultimately agreed to share custody, the Post reported.

Police found Simms, 24, pushing Ji'Aire's dead body in a park in La Plata, Maryland, on the morning of May 22. It's believed that she might have been there overnight.

An autopsy failed to determine what killed Ji'Aire. So far, Simms has been hospitalized and not charged with any crime.

When officers approached Simms, "it didn't appear that she was fully aware of what was going on," Charles County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Diane Richardson previously told The Huffington Post.

Simms' mother, Vontasha Simms, has previously said that her daughter suffered from mental illness.

Two days before Ji'Aire's death, Simms allegedly made a strange phone call to Lee in which she demanded that he pick up her and their son immediately, according to NBC Washington. He was at work, though, and refused, he told the station. Lee said that Simms stopped answering his calls later.

Ji'Aire's family raised more than $10,000 online to pay funeral expenses.

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