SAN ANTONIO - A San Antonio man is overwhelmed with emotion as he tries to figure out what’s best for his children 1,300 miles away in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Michael Krouser is fighting to get custody of his 14-year old daughter’s body and two other surviving children. His ex-wife, Azlyza Ababneh, 37 is charged with multiple counts of child neglect, including one count of neglect that resulted in her child’s death. Because she is not charged with murder, state law allows her to have say over what happens to the child’s body.
Krouser said his ex-wife has no excuse for what she is accused of doing.
“No mental problems,” he said. “She’s gonna want to fight and say" she has mental problems. "She’ll play that game with you, but she's not mental. She's abusive.”
Milwaukee police were alerted in December when Amina Krouser arrived in the hospital with brain swelling and signs of abuse. She died as a result of her injuries. Authorities said Ababneh refused to give doctors permission to operate on the girl’s brain to save her life.
At the home, authorities found two other children, 12-year-old Naima Krouser and 16-year-old Elijah Krouser, living in deplorable conditions. A report said the home was dirty and smelled of urine.
An interview with the children revealed Amina had been beaten prior to ending up in the hospital. Her mother did not believe she was sick, authorities said.
The minors also told police they survived by eating baby food and noodles. The home did not have running water or heat, and they used a bucket as a toilet.
“She was home schooling them,” Krouser said. “Naima never went to school. I don’t know about Amina, but Eli, I think it was second grade.”
Krouser said he did not see his children in 10 years and was reunited in the hospital with them. He was allowed to speak on the phone with them, but they were never allowed to speak freely because his ex-wife was listening in.
On Friday, there will be a probate hearing on the remains. Krouser is struggling to decide if he can make it. He said his job, lack of income and lack of a vehicle keep him from being able to do more. He’s also struggling to get a better job that pays more to get a bigger place to provide for his children.
“Right now, I’m still processing, and I don’t know what I’m processing because I’m too busy being spread out,” Krouser said.
Ababneh remains in jail.
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