ROCK HILL, S.C. – It is a tale of two families, both struggling for custody of nine-year-old Mia Rodgers. The little girl was found dead in her bed from a gunshot wound Friday. The York County Sheriff’s Office says her paternal grandfather, 67-year-old Ron Gregory, told a deputy he shot and killed her. Gregory is also accused of shooting and killing his 71-year-old bed-ridden wife Barbara. Gregory then shot himself twice. He remains in the hospital. When he is released, he will be charged with two counts of murder.
Custody Battle Preceded Deadly Shootings of Girl, Grandmother
Public York County court documents obtained by WCCB reveal the Gregorys and their son, Kevin, were battling Paul and Nina Rodgers, Mia’s maternal grandparents, for custody of the girl. Mia’s mother died from cancer. Mia’s father is also named in the custody battle.
In February, a guardian ad litem submitted a report to the courts. She met with Mia seven times during the course of her investigation. The guardian ad litem claims “Mia does not ask to go see her maternal grandparents. She will beg not to go.” The guardian ad litem told the courts she had “no concerns about Mia staying with the paternal grandparents and her father.” She recommended that until a final decision was made regarding Mia’s custody, the little girl “maintain the connection and bond as a family with her father.”
Judge Robert Guess declared both sets of grandparents as well as Mia’s father “fit” to have custody of her. The judge awarded temporary custody to Mia’s father and Barbara and Ron Gregory. He ruled that the Rodgers would get Mia every other weekend. The guardian ad litem tells WCCB a judge has ordered her not to speak about the case.