Baby Jackson Death: 20-month-old Blake Farrey being returned to El Paso from Michigan

20-month-old Blake Farrey being returned to El Paso

EL PASO, TExas - ABC-7 has learned from Child Protective Services in El Paso that Blake Farrey, the 20-month-old son of Jenna and Army Spc. Jeffrey Farrey, will be transferred from Michigan back to El Paso foster care as soon as this week.

According to defense attorneys for both Jenna and Jeffrey  -- who remain jailed in El Paso -- that's exactly what the couple did not want. They want Blake to be placed in custody of family in Illinois. But he will soon be brought back to the Borderland.

A CPS spokesman in El Paso said there is no date yet for when the transfer of Blake will take place.

But a probate court spokeswoman in Michigan told ABC-7 they received an order accepting the transfer of Blake's care to El Paso from District Court Judge Yahara Lisa Gutierrez on Friday following a hearing last Thursday.

Blake's return from child protective services in Michigan could happen as soon as Wednesday, according to a source.

Jenna, Jeffrey, Blake, and 5-month-old Jackson were reported missing Nov. 15. All but Jackson were found in an Escanaba, Michigan motel on Nov. 17.

Officials have yet to confirm if the body of an infant found in Orogrande, New Mexico is Jackson.  The baby's body, believed by investigators to be that of Jackson, was taken to Albuquerque. An autopsy report is pending and could take up to eight weeks.

Jenna's co-counsel, Josh Herrera, told ABC-7 last week that his client wants Blake to be with her mother.

"She was expressing concern for Blake and his whereabouts right now," Herrera said. "She's concerned about his current placement as well as his placement in the future."

When asked if Jenna seems like someone who cares about her children, Herrera replied, "a great deal, yes."

Jeffrey's attorney, Joe Spencer, told ABC-7 the move "makes no sense."

"(Jeffrey's) hope was to get (Blake) to his family," Spencer said. "His family has expressed the desire and intent to take care of Blake. To bring him back to Texas and put him in foster care with strangers isn't in (Blake's) best interest. "

A Michigan court spokeswoman told ABC-7 the reason Blake's case is being transferred is because he is considered a resident of El Paso County and not Delta County in Michigan where he was found.

Back in October of 2012 in El Paso, Jenna was charged and pleaded guilty to abandoning Blake.

Two local attorneys have been appointed guardians to represent Blake and look out for his best interest. Neither could be reached for comment on Monday.

Jenna is currently being held in El Paso County jail on probation violation charges.

Authorities say she violated her probation by leaving the state, which she could not do under the terms of her probation related to a 2012 guilty plea to child endangerment for leaving her toddler, Blake, home alone last year.

No other charges have been filed at this time and there are no hearings currently scheduled for Jenna, according to court records.

Jenna was held in Michigan on the probation violation charge until she was extradited to El Paso and booked into El Paso County jail just after 9 p.m. last Tuesday. When asked by reporters what happened to Jackson, Jenna said "no comment."

Jeffrey was extradited back to El Paso by the military a few days after being found on Nov. 17 because he was AWOL. Jeffrey has been charged with injury to a child by omission.

Jeffrey was in court last Tuesday morning on a bond reduction hearing. Magistrate judge James Carter denied the Army specialist's request to have his $1.5 million bond lowered to $50,000.

Attorney Joe Spencer is representing the 22-year-old father. He says his client is still on suicide watch, distraught and very emotional. Jeffrey, a Fort Bliss soldier, wore an orange jumpsuit and only spoke to his attorney during the hearing.

During last Tuesday's hearing, prosecutors also shed more light on the status of Blake. Prosecutor Penny Hamilton said the toddler is "grossly underweight" and was taken by Child Protective Services in Michigan because of significant medical issues.
Prosecutors also said Jeffrey's family is fighting for custody of the boy. His defense attorney told ABC-7 the child neglect did not happen under Jeffrey's watch because he was deployed at that time.

Jeffrey's next hearing is Dec.  12 when a judge will reconsider his request for bond reduction once the autopsy report for the body found near Orogrande is released.

ABC-7's cameras were rolling Nov. 19, as detectives searched and removed belongings from the Farrey home in Northeast El Paso. A white sports car at the property was towed away.

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