She still cannot rest in peace.
More than a month after baby Julissia Batties was found dead in her mother’s apartment in the Bronx, her body still lies in the town morgue as her parents argue over the funeral, The Post has learned .
The abused 7-year-old has been the subject of a fierce custody battle for most of her life and the fight continues even after her tragic death – her mother wanting to have her cremated and her father hoping she can be. buried, according to court documents.
Mum Navasia Jones, who had custody of Julissia when the girl died, filed a petition on Friday asking a judge to grant her control over the funeral arrangements and the “disposition” of the girl’s body.
Jones wants his daughter to be cremated so that she “always has something to remember.” [Julissia] by, ”says the filing with the Supreme Court of the Bronx.
But dad Julius Batties – whose mother Yolanda Davis has tried unsuccessfully for years to secure custody of her granddaughter – wants Julissia buried in the same New Jersey cemetery as her father.
“I am ready to let my baby rest so he can be at peace,” Batties told The Post on Tuesday.
Davis agreed, “I just want to put her to rest.”
“I didn’t know we would have to fight for her body,” said the distraught grandmother. “I thought we were burying the baby and that’s it.”
Julissia’s lifeless body, with evidence of trauma everywhere, was discovered on August 10 in Jones’ apartment at NYCHA’s Mitchel Houses. Autopsy results showed the girl died of “blunt abdominal trauma,” and the NYPD ruled the case a homicide.
Julissia’s mother and 17-year-old half-brother were questioned by detectives, police sources said. But no arrests have been made as the investigation continues.
There was a known history of violence in the child’s home and an alleged admission by the half-brother that he punched Julissia eight times in the face on the day of her death – although it was later determined that these beatings were not what ultimately killed her, sources said.
The alleged assault happened as their mother drove to the store at 5 a.m., and hours later Julissia, who was due to start her sophomore year this month, began to vomit, prompting Jones to call 911. Jones claimed her daughter fell and hit her head on a desk, the sources said. The girl was taken to Lincoln Hospital but could not be saved.
In the weeks following Julissia’s death, Jones, 35, and Batties, 37, each made arrangements with separate funeral homes regarding their daughter’s final resting place, court documents show.
Because of this, the city’s chief medical examiner’s office said it couldn’t release Julissia’s body until the parents came to an agreement or let the court decide. On August 26, the OCME said it had put Julissia’s body on hold until a resolution was reached, the case said.
But the parents couldn’t come to an agreement, with Batties saying he “would never agree” to his daughter being cremated.
The father said he had already chosen a casket in one of his little girl’s favorite colors – pink – and had organized a horse-drawn carriage at the funeral, to make sure she “came out like a princess” .
“Because she was a princess,” he said.
Julissia’s grandmother, however, wants to bury Julissia in a white dress the girl had chosen to attend a wedding. She also wants to put a purple headband on him, as this color was also one of her granddaughter’s favorites.
“I’ve never been through this in my life and it’s really frustrating because here she is, a baby, she’s gone, she’s still sitting in a morgue, you know,” Davis said.
“It’s been over a month now. Can we just put it to rest? “
Jones’ attorney did not return requests for comment on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for OCME said disputes between claimants must be resolved in court, in accordance with state public health laws. “In accordance with the law, OCME continues to hold the body of the deceased while the court decides the matter.”
Additional reporting by Larry Celona