By Alexandra Herrera
Law enforcement officers are now on the lookout for Heather Hironimus, the mother of a 4-year-old boy who has been at the center of a circumcision case in West Palm Beach. She was again absent from court on Tuesday. The mother has been missing with her son since February 19, the date that the boy's father was supposed to take him to be circumcised. In a hearing last week, Judge Jeffrey Dana Gillen warned Hironimus' attorney that if she did not show up, a warrant would be issued.
During today's hearing in Delray Beach, Hironimus' lawyer, Thomas Hunker, attempted to explain that Hironimus fled to a women's shelter due to the child being in fear of the procedure. He asked that a mental health evaluation be scheduled for the child. Hunker also petitioned for the child to be appointed a guardian until the case is resolved. These motions were denied by Gillen, who said he would not continue unless Hironimus was present and the child was back.
Since the case began, three contempt motions have been filed by Gillen against Hironimus, not only for failing to appear but also for Hironimus allowing anticircumcision protesters to use her son's name and likeness during protests. Dennis Nebus, the father of the child, had his lawyers push for further action to get Hironimus back in Palm Beach in order to continue the case. Gillen signed a writ of bodily attachment during the hearing, thus issuing a warrant for Hironimus as well as suspending her passport and banning her son from getting one.
Hunker said in a posthearing interview that "the child is afraid, as I said on the record, is afraid of the procedure and that's why the mother was looking out to protect the child's rights." He said it is in the court's hands to make the right decision in terms of the future of the child. Hunker declined to specify where Hironimus and her son currently are. Nebus' lawyers declined to comment on the matter. Court is in recess till Hironimus is found.
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