Justice for Julian! Insist RI DCYF respect the wishes of his murdered mother.

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In January 2019, Rachael Rene became a well known name in Rhode Island for being the first domestic violence death in the state. She was brutally stabbed to death by her baby’s father, Luis Matta. Just a day before Rachael’s life was taken, she was awarded sole custody of their eight month old son, Julian. Luis brutally attacked Rachael with their son in the home. He stabbed Rachael 28 times leaving her unrecognizable, mutilated her body, and with a broken arm and hand. After murdering Rachael he brought Julian to his parents' home. Julian has remained in the Matta home ever since.

Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) has made little to no effort to work with Rachael's family since she was murdered. Instead, DCYF has been cooperatively working with the Matta family. Although just a short time before the murder a judge had found Luis unfit to be a custodial parent for Julian, DCYF has chosen not to terminate Luis's parental rights but allow him to consent to his parents adopting Julian. DCYF is allowing Luis to make decisions for Julian's future while he had no regard for his son's future when he decided to murder Rachael.

DCYF failed to contact anyone in Rachael's family in order to notify them on the whereabouts of Julian. They eventually told Lisa Rene, Rachael's mother, that Julian would NOT be placed with the Matta family, but ultimately he was. Rachael had a very close relationship with her mother who was devastated to find out through the news, that Julian was placed with the Matta family. Both Lisa and I were in the delivery room when Julian was born. The Matta Family was not present that day.  Lisa had been a major part of Julian's life since day one. At one point during Rachael's tumultuous relationship with Luis, Rachael told Lisa that she feared Luis would kill her; Rachael asked Lisa to promise that she would take care of Julian. 

DCYF kept Julian away from Rachael's family for more than two months. DCYF never reached out to anyone in Rachael's family to ask about any of their history with Julian. DCYF said that because the baby had belongings at the Matta residence they thought he had been staying there before Rachael was murdered and didn't want to disrupt his routine. Julian had been there, in November of 2018, for about a month when Luis refused to return Julian to his mother after a visit. Their reasoning for placing Julian with the Matta's was not fact based, it was easy for DCYF. On December 11th of 2018, after making several attempts to get Julian back (even with police present), Rachael obtained an emergency court order to remove Julian from the Matta's home. She was relieved and ready to move on with her life with her baby and without Luis.

DCYF has disregarded Rachael's family, more specifically Lisa's efforts to communicate with them and be considered as an option for placement of Julian. Lisa has provided DCYF with everything they have asked of her; a beautiful, stable home for her grandson, proper counseling etc. and yet no call backs, no answers, and no Julian. Lisa is not being given the chance to uphold the promise that she made to Rachael.

Over the last nine months Lisa has been treated as though she did something wrong, and that nothing she has done is good enough. DCYF has treated the Matta family as though they are the victims in this tragedy. It was Lisa’s daughters' life that was taken. Where is the justice for Rachael? For Julian? DCYF has stated that Julian was only in temporary custody, yet nine months later no changes have been made and no explanations as to why. Lisa sees her grandson two days a week for seven hours a day, with no overnights, and many last minute cancellations from the Matta's. Lisa is in regular contact with the Mattas, as DCYF told them to figure out a schedule that works for them. Unfortunately, communication with the Matta's is difficult as they are Spanish speaking family and need a translator to communicate back and forth with Lisa and her family. Lisa's requests to DCYF for help with more time with Julian have been ignored. The Matta's have refused her overnights and more time with her grandson and when asked why, no reasonable explanation is provided. How is this okay? 

The injustice of this system, the ignorance to Lisa and the Rene family, and the improper placing of Julian by DYCF has gone on far too long. We can no longer stand back and let these behaviors occur any longer! Lisa deserves to have her only grandson back in her home where he belongs! Rachael deserves JUSTICE! Julian needs to be in a home, surrounded by family and friends who want him to remember his mother. He should grow up knowing what an amazing woman his mother was and just how much he meant to her. He deserves to grow up in a household where his mother's memory will be carried on. Julian deserves this! Lisa and her family deserve this! Please help to take a stand against Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Family. Until an adoption happens in December 2019 Julian remains in DCYF custody and they have the power to make this change, to make things right for Rachael, Julian and Lisa. Please sign this petition and help take a stand for the victims!