Yakama Nation woman fights tribe for custody of 12-year-old

Desmond, 12, is living with his aunt in Tennessee. Photo from Facebook

A member of the Yakama Nation of Washington is fighting her tribe to retain custody of her 12-year-old nephew.

Mandi-Lumley Sage secured custody of Desmond and three of his siblings from her brother. But she said the tribe wants Desmond back after she asked for permission to take him to a hospital for heart surgery and sought counseling for him.

"We have the situation where he has the best chance at life possible here," Sage, who lives in Tennessee, told WSMV-TV. "If we send him back, he's sentenced to abuse, neglect and a short life."

The tribe hasn't commented publicly on the situation.

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