'Molly took photo albums and showed them to the children to try and lift their spirits' - Martens Corbett family describe 'heart-wrenching' final moments with children
The family of Molly Martens Corbett has described her final moments with the two children of her late husband as ‘heart-wrenching’.
Molly’s uncle Michael Earnest described how Jack (10) and Sarah (8) were removed from Molly’s care during an intense custody battle after the death of their father Jason Corbett.
Limerick man Mr Corbett (39) died on August 2 in his home in North Carolina during a 'domestic disturbance'.
Molly Martens Corbett and her father Thomas Martens (65), a former FBI agent, are two ‘persons of interest' in the killing of Mr Corbett.
Mr Corbett married US citizen Molly Corbett after the death of the children’s biological mother in 2006.
Molly Martens told Newstalk this morning that she has not spoken to Jack or Sarah since her supervised visitation with them.
Her uncle Michael described how the extended family visited the children in the courthouse.
“It was the most heart-wrenching scene I have ever had to be a part of,” he told Newstalk’s Breakfast.
“We took the extended family to see the children in the courthouse, the department of social services were there.
“Molly took photo albums with her and showed them to the children to try and lift their spirits, she told them how much she loved them and they told her as well.
“It was just a really, really… very heart-wrenching moment and that was the last time Molly saw the children.”
Mr Earnest, who has a background in law enforcement, said he appreciates that the custody decision was ‘complex and difficult’.
“The only will Jason had was from seven years ago, which preceded Molly in their lives. He didn’t write another will, but he had made several steps to show he had moved to America, he had married an American girl, he had his children in an American school for four years.
“He went for a legal residence status. The week before he died he had a conversation with my wife when he talked about how he was going to seek US citizenship for himself and the children.”
Mr Earnest said the family based in America missed the children and Molly Martens has been ‘distraught’ since they left for Ireland.
“[We knew the children] very much so," he said.
“They were just in our home the week before. We’ve had many wonderful times with Jack and Sarah.
“We’ve gone on two cruises with the family and we’ve seen them many times, I consider them my great-niece and great-nephew.
“They are very much a part of our lives and I will continue to make that so.
“Molly is their mother, a woman can give birth and a man can bear children but there is no guarantee they’ll be good parents.
“Motherhood is earned and Molly is an unreal mother, she cares unbelievably for these children.
“If you were able to interview the children you would find the sweetest, politest, most wonderful children,” he continued.
“I’m not taking one thing from their father, but the majority of what they’ve got is from their mother.
“Molly is very distraught. She has not lost faith in that her children will be returned to her care.
“She is prepared to take every legal step possible.”
Jason Corbett was laid to rest last Wednesday and his children remain in the care of his sister, Tracey Lynch, and her husband.
Mr Corbett was buried with the children's biological mother, Margaret Fitzpatrick, who died in 2006.