Children of murdered woman placed in foster care as relatives fight for custody

Maribel Torres' husband arrested in connection with slaying


MIAMI – Another hearing was held Tuesday as a bitter custody fight continues for the children whose father has been arrested for allegedly killing their mother.  

Several of the victim's relatives attended the hearing, as they fight for custody of the couple's two children. After reviewing both sides of the family, a Miami-Dade County judge ordered that the children be placed in foster care.

The body of Maribel Torres, who was reported missing seven months ago, was found Thursday by Miami-Dade investigators. Authorities said the body was in a box that had been dumped in a Dania Beach canal.

Police said the victim's husband, Jimmy Torres, confessed to a friend that he killed her. 

A judge granted temporary custody of the children to Jimmy Torres' sister, Karla Heald, over the weekend.

After an appeal by the victim's sister, Mabel Montesino -- who is also trying to get custody of the kids -- the children were placed in foster care.

The judge ordered that Montesino be further investigated by the Florida Department of Children and Families to determine whether she is qualified to care for the children. The judge also ordered that both children be placed in therapy within the next 24 hours.

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