Judge gives father custody of abused daughter, Texas to care for

DALLAS (AP) - A father has been granted custody of his abused daugher by a judge.

The Dallas Morning News reports Ellis County Judge Greg Wilhelm signed the order on yesterday approving a jury's June 30 verdict giving Jim Ehlers, from Davenport, Iowa, custody of his 6-year-old daughter. The order also sent the girl's two half sisters, who are ages 8 and 4, into Texas state custody.

The girls had been abused by their mother, Susan Hyde, according to testimony in a monthlong trial.

The testimony said the girls went to the emergency room at least 150 times in four years and were treated for illnesses, such as cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy and seizures, that they never had.

Doctors testified that Hyde's behavior correlated with psychological disorders known as Munchausen syndrome and Munchausen syndrome by proxy.

The illnesses describe people who create false symptoms of illness or by a parent making her child appear sick and possibly harming the child.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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