Sievers children the subject of custody hearing

Posted at 7:44 AM, Feb 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-29 18:35:29-05

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- A custody hearing for the two daughters of Mark Sievers was held Monday morning, and was attended by both Mark and DCF representatives.

Judge Shriver started by stating that the court must make a decision that's in the "best interest of the children."

Discussion began about whether custody would be given to either the children's maternal or paternal grandparents.  DCF indicated that their maternal grandparents have requested custody.

The judge says Mark Sievers will be able to have phone contact with his daughters while he's incarcerated.

In the end, the court did not yet make a decision on who would take custody, and the girls will continue staying with a family friend for the time being.

The next hearing will be on March 21, 2016.


FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The future of Mark Sievers' two children is in question after a busy weekend of developments in the murder investigation of their mother, doctor Teresa Sievers.

Deputies arrested Mark Sievers on Friday for his connection in his wife's murder, 8 months ago. On Saturday, Mark made his first appearance, and a judge set his bond at $4.43 million -- the same amount as the life insurance policy under his wife's name.

According to documents released about the murder, investigators suspect Mark planned his wife's murder to collect the life insurance money.

Jimmy Rodgers and Curtis Wayne Wright are already facing charges in the murder.

Now, Monday morning, Mark Sievers is expected to be in court again.  Now that he is behind bars, many people are wondering what's going to happen to the two daughters that were left behind. There's family members on both sides who are willing to take care of them. 

At Mark's first appearance Saturday, the judge briefly touched on them, but Monday morning sources say the fate of these two girls will be the top point of discussion.

You may remember that late last year, a judge actually sided with their father after the Department of Children and Families challenged his custody, due to his suspected role in his wife's death. But a judge shot down their challenge because it was merely speculation at the time.

Now Mark Sievers has been arrested and authorities say they'll be well taken care of.  "We're taking very good care of them and we'll continue to make sure that's the case. These kids celebrated their first Christmas just a couple months ago without their mother and now their father's off in shackles," says Sheriff Mike Scott.

Photos: Teresa Sievers crime scene (Warning: Very Graphic)

Many neighbors we spoke to say they hope the insurance money from Teresa's death goes to these two girls that are now mother and fatherless.

You can count on Fox 4 to bring you all the latest development of this case.