Devon Davis' parents take back daughter

Devon Davis found in lake in March

LIBERTY COUNTY, Texas - The parents of Devon Davis, whose body was found in a Liberty County lake in March, have taken back their daughter after CPS placed her with family friends.

Through a text message, April Davis confirmed that she and her husband had their 18-month-old daughter Abby.

April wrote in a text, "We got Abby and left." 

Another text read, "There was no court order. We were able 2 get her all this time. CPS was just bullying us."

Capt. Rex Evans of the Liberty County Sheriff's Office said he convinced the Davis family to stop in Woodville, Tyler County, in east Texas.  He said he checked Abby and found no reason he could hold them.

Last month, the parents pleaded for the return of their daughter.

"I want somebody to explain to me why I can't have my daughter back. It's hard enough dealing with the fact that my 2.5 year old son is gone. And now I can't have my daughter and no one can explain why," April Davis said at the time.

Child Protective Services placed Abby with family friends after the disappearance of her brother Devon. April Davis expected Abby would be returned after Devon's death was ruled an accident and April's name was cleared. 

"We've done nothing wrong. She's been cleared of everything. It's just making it...a lot harder. A lot harder. We can't even deal with the passing of Devon without having to fight for Abby. There's just no reason for it," Mike Davis said last month.

Evans said CPS, the Davis family, and a family friend had a civil agreement, but not a court order, for custody of Abby. CPS had placed the family in a "parental safety plan." The couple voluntarily placed Abby in a friend's home.

"They have one child that they'll never get back and another child that was taken out of the home and were fighting to get back," attorney Chris Branson said. "It's voluntary. There is no court order requiring them to do so. There was no restriction on their parental rights. It was one more thing, one more thing and one more thing. Lately, they were telling them it would likely be about 6 months before you get your child back. They couldn't explain to them exactly why. They chose last night to end that voluntary placement."

Evans believes the Davis family is headed back to the East Coast.  They had moved here from Virginia to find work only a few days before Devon drowned near their friend's home.

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