A custody battle over the orphaned son of Katie Farrell, who was allegedly killed by East Northport native and ex-boyfriend James Schultz in a brutal murder-suicide, is playing in St. James, where a local doctor's office has hung a banner supporting keeping the boy with the Farrell family.
“Some people might notice and just bring some awareness of it, because we think it’s a very unfair situation,” said Dr. Dennis O’Brien, who runs a general medicine practice on Lake Avenue with Dr. Bruce Thompson. His practice is where Katie's mother, Clare, works.
Clare Farrell confirmed in a phone interview that there is a temporary custody agreement set up where she has her grandson, Tyler Farrell, four days a week and the Schultz family has him the other three days. She said that the Schultz family had filed for full custody and she is currently involved with the courts to get full custody of Tyler. Katie had full custody of her son before March 12, .
“Tyler lived with us and he visited the family of his father,” Clare said. “We’re not vindictive, we’re not doing this because we’re angry at them because the opposite is true, I feel terribly, terribly sorry for his parents too, but we’re just seeking a continuation of the way it was before my daughter was killed.”
Clare said she is due to return to court April 25.
Immediately after the murder-suicide, Tyler stayed with the Schultz family for two-and-a-half weeks, Clare said, while the courts could figure out a suitable custody situation.
Prior to the murder-suicide, Clare said Tyler never spent a night in the Schultz home and that her daughter would not allow Tyler to stay in the Shultz home overnight.
O’Brien, who would make art projects with pastels with Katie on Sundays and often have lunch with her at the St. James Healthcare facility where she worked, said St. James was Tyler’s home and in conversation made it clear that she was OK with her ex-boyfriend babysitting while she was working but expressed a reluctance to have Tyler there for anything but that.
“The temporary custody that we have in place now is not acceptable to us and we’ll go to court and fight this out in court as long as we have to, as long as we can,” Clare said. “I have to do this for my daughter.”