Mourad Samaan, Madeline Samaan-Fay
FAIR OAKS - The family of a man believed to have killed his toddler then himself blame the deaths on the court system.
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The bodies of Mourad "Moni" Samaan and his 2-year-old daughter, Madeline Samaan-Fay, were found late Saturday night. Investigators spotted their SUV backed into a remote part of Grizzly Flats in El Dorado County. The property was owned and shared between Samaan and his brother Nabil.
"I believe he went there, like we would often go there, to find solace," said Nabil Samaan. "It's just the most beautiful place."
Mourad Samaan and his daughter had been missing for a week.
Nabil said Mourad disappeared after receiving a court order from his wife. Nabil said it was one of dozens he received in the past few months at the behest of Madeline's mother, Marcia Fay, a deputy attorney general for the state Department of Justice.
"She was trying to prevent him from having any visitation," said Nabil. "It has to be court-supervised."
Samaan's neighbors knew he was going through a custody battle.
"The hardest thing is that the public has no idea what he went through with his ex-wife," said his neighbor Stephanie Brinkman. "It's just heart-wrenching."
"There's not one document that would show that Moni is not the best father in the world," said Nabil Samaan while being interviewed by News10 reporter Natalie Sentz.>
Sentz said, "He's the best dad in the world until he takes the life of his child."
Nabil responded, "He's still the best dad in the world."
Sentz said, "Madeline is dead.
"Yeah, but he's not the one who killed her," Nabil said.
Nabil believes the deaths were triggered by Samaan's ex-wife insistence on continuing a custody battle for her daughter.
"The court file will show that he was tormented to the point where he couldn't take it anymore," Nabil said.
As of this report, Fay was not available for comment.
The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office said Monday, "At this time during the investigation, it appears to possibly be a murder/suicide."
By Natalie Sentz, firstname.lastname@example.org
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