Relatives of Khalil Wimes, who was malnourished and then beat to death, say they are torn between anger and grief.
"He was a happy, healthy little boy and he had a family that loved him and DHS took him from that," his aunt, Bashera Abdul-Hadi, told NBC10's Lu Ann Cahn.
Khalil's blood relatives, and grandparents and cousins, are distraught and grieving today for the little boy they say they all loved and helped raise together as a foster family. He died late Monday night and on Wednesday his parents were charged with murder after the Medical Examiner ruled that he died from blunt force trauma and malnutrition.
Relatives say when Kahlil was born they saw the deplorable conditions he and his six siblings were living in with Tina and Floyd Wimes. They called the Department of Human Services. The family says they asked to care for all of the Wimes seven children when they were removed from the home. A cousin in this family was given only the infant, Khalil, to foster. At age three, they say they were stunned when they were told by Family Court and the DHS that they had to give him back to Tina and Floyd Wimes.
"They [Family Court and DHS] took him out of a situation that was absolutely deplorable and put him back in the same situation," said Khalil's uncle, Sulaiman Hadi."We had no contact with this child, so I would think, logically, they would check on this little boy,"
Floyd Wimes' brother, Sulaiman Hadi, says they petitioned and tried to have some contact with Khalil, but they were cut out of his life.
"Every door we tried was shut in our face," Hadi said. He said they tried the legal route and they even tried to find out from other family members if they'd seen Khalil or knew where they could find him. "We were completely shut out," Hadi said.
The family say they only learned on the news last night that their worst fear had come true -- that Khalil had died, allegedly at the hands of his parents. Now they are planning his funeral.
"Right now, Khalil is first. We need to care for him, we need to comfort him," his Aunt says.
The Hadi family says they just can't believe that for three years they didn't have the right to see Khalil, but now they have the right to bury him.