The parents of two children who made a reported suicide pact appeared in a Brevard County courtroom on Monday. A judge was to decide if James and Mai Dang Firth could have custody of their two daughters. The parents allegedly threatened to kill themselves and their kids, if an autism treatment for one of their daughters didn't go as planned.
Following an hour long court-supervised visit with her two children, Mai Dang, who speaks little English, softly spoke the words, "I'm sorry."
As their attorney's argued for the release of their two children from foster care, 4-year-old Kristin, and 2-year-old Kiah were next door in a fluorescent lit room with several toys.
"They are deeply concerned, they were weeping. They will do whatever the court requires of them to get their children back," said the Firth's attorney, Julie Pierce.
The Firths drove across country to attend the emergency shelter hearing after their children were taken away by the Florida Department of Children and Families. The agency said the Firth's left the state before an investigation into statements James made about killing his family during a visit to get treatment for his autistic daughter, Kristin.
"Anything that was said, was misconstrued," said Pierce. "We believe all of that will come out at trial."
But for the second time, a juvenile dependency judge declined to release the children to their paternal grandmother, citing concerns about the allegedly suicidal parents getting access to the children, before they've been given a psychological evaluation by the state.
"I want them to be in a safe and undisclosed location," said Pierce.
The Firths will be allowed to visit with their children a minimum of four hours a week until their next court hearing January 4, 2013.