Saturday, April 5, 2008

State of Florida Blocks Mother From Seeing Her Children

DAYTONA BEACH -- The mother of twin girls trapped in an apartment fire -- one who died and the other who was severely burned -- is forbidden by the state from seeing her three surviving children, officials and family members said Monday.

The restriction, which began days after the March 16 fire, prevented Robin Cain from saying goodbye to her 4-year-old daughter, Kathryn Cain, before the child was flown to The Shriners Hospital for Children in Cincinnati a week ago.

"The Department of Children & Families said she can't see them or talk to them," said the children's father, Robert Cain, from Kathryn's bedside at Shriner's on Monday.

DCF local administrator Reggie Williams confirmed that a no-contact order was filed against Robin Cain. The 38-year-old is not allowed to visit or speak to Kathryn and Chase Cain and her older daughter Sheyenne Lundgren, 16.

Kathryn, her twin sister, Krystal, and 5-year-old Chase were staying at Robin Cain's apartment when flames broke out after 11 p.m. in the bedroom the three children were sharing, state fire officials said.

Robin Cain, Lundgren and the teen's unidentified boyfriend also were in the apartment when the fire erupted. The two adults and Lundgren ran out of the burning three-bedroom unit. But the three children were left behind, fire officials said.

A neighbor ran into the smoke-filled apartment and rescued Chase; Daytona Beach firefighters saved Kathryn, who was still in the bedroom.

But the thick smoke and racing flames would not allow firefighters to find Krystal, who had apparently hidden in a closet.

The little girl died of smoke inhalation.

The surviving twin underwent skin-graft surgery at Shriners and is recovering from the burns that covered the front portion of her body, Robert Cain said Monday.

The 31-year-old father said the no-contact order was filed by DCF officials in light of what happened the night of the fire and "other things that have been going on."

Robin Cain, reached for the first time since the fire, said Monday that her attorney had advised her not to speak to the media.

However, court documents show Robert Cain gained temporary custody of the twin girls in January, after he told a judge that his estranged wife locked the children in their bedroom.

The father, in court documents, also said Robin Cain is an alcoholic, something the daughter, Lundgren, said two weeks ago. The teenager said her mother had locked the youngsters in their bedroom because they often woke up in the middle of the night and wandered the apartment. Lundgren, who is staying with a family friend, also said her mother would place a potty in the bedroom for all three children while they were confined.

The children were not locked in the night of the fire, and her mother may have fallen asleep in the bathroom when it started, the older sister said.

State fire officials have said the fire originated in the children's bedroom, but the cause is still unknown.



Not even supervised visits?

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