Murder victim's 13-year-old daughter involved in custody battle - News, Weather & Sports

Murder victim's 13-year-old daughter involved in custody battle

Stephanie Kirk Stephanie Kirk
Tony Kirk and Sabrina Kirk Tony Kirk and Sabrina Kirk
Sabrina Kirk's biological father, George Tuell Sabrina Kirk's biological father, George Tuell

NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) – 13-year-old Sabrina Kirk says she is hanging in there after finding out her mother was found dead behind Clyde Gibson's home in New Albany last week. 

"I just miss her being there," said Sabrina. "Now at home it is just me and my grandpa."

For the last six years, Sabrina has been living at her grandfather's house in Charlestown with her mother, Stephanie Kirk. In less than a week, not only has Sabrina had to cope with her mother's death, but now a custody hearing, too. 

"I've been pretty upset since the death of my mother, and now all of this having to go to court for custody and stuff, I mean it's been really tough," said Sabrina. 

On Thursday, Sabrina's grandfather, Tony Kirk, asked a judge for custody. Also in the courtroom was George Tuell, Sabrina's biological father. He admits he hasn't seen his daughter in several years.

"I wasn't trying to disrupt her life. I just wanted to make sure she has the conditions that she needs to be able to succeed, and she's in good clean living conditions, and she's going to school and has food to eat and her house is clean," said Tuell.
The judge granted custody to Tony Kirk. His attorney said if Sabrina wants to see her father, the choice is hers.

"The main point was to make sure that Sabrina was safe with me. That's where her mother wanted her, and that's where me and my wife wanted her too. So yes, I'm happy with it," said Tony Kirk.

Investigators were back in Clyde Gibson's backyard on Friday, using high-tech equipment to search for new evidence. Police said it's a scanning device that helps them detect what's underground. 

Gibson currently faces murder charges for the death of two women, Christine Whitis, 75, and Karen Hodella, 46. 

Charges in the death of Stephanie Kirk are expected to be filed soon.

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