The paternal grandparents of the seven Campbell children, whose parents died last week, are asking to be appointed as the guardians of the children.
The grandparents, Henry and Nancy Campbell of Glen Carbon, have filed a guardianship petition in Circuit Court in Madison County.
Associate Judge Clarence Harrison has scheduled a hearing on the Campbell’s request for May 9. Meantime, the judge appointed attorney Dylan Jerrell as guardian ad litem for the children. A guardian ad litem is a person appointed by the court to investigate what would be in the best interests of a child.
The paternal grandparents are represented by attorney Anthony Dos Santos. His petition states that the children currently are in the custody of the paternal grandparents.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
“It is necessary that a guardian of the minors’ person be appointed to ensure that a responsible adult is responsible for the care and welfare of the minors,” the petition states.
It is necessary that a guardian of the minors’ person be appointed to ensure that a responsible adult is responsible for the care and welfare of the minors.
Petition for guardianship of Campbell children
Dos Santos declined to comment Friday.
The petition states that the children’s nearest living relatives are the paternal grandparents and a maternal grandmother, Lenora Brueggemann, of Collinsville. The maternal grandmother could not immediately be reached Friday.
Jerrell, the guardian ad litem, also could not immediately be reached for comment.
The children range in age from 4 months to 14 years, according to the petition.
The body of their 32-year-old mother, Cristy Campbell, was found in Silver Lake outside Highland on the morning of March 16. The 4-month-old was rescued from her sport-utility vehicle, which had gone into the lake.
The body of the children’s father, 37-year-old Justin Campbell, was found inside the couple’s burned home on the morning of March 16. He had been shot in the head, according to authorities.
A joint funeral for Justin and Cristy Campbell was held Thursday.
The community has rallied to gather support and donations for the Campbell children.