BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A Brevard County girl's future is uncertain after the Department of Children and Families worker who was supposed to be protecting her took her home instead.
There's a battle brewing between the employee and the little girl's family over who gets to keep her.
DCF child protection investigator, Nicole Kemp, is off the job while the young girl is caught up in a custody battle.
Channel 9 learned Wednesday Kemp has hired a lawyer who told her not to talk with anyone about the case.
Court records show Kemp admitted she and her husband took the unidentified child home with them three years ago when she was born.
A Brevard County Sheriff's Office report shows Kemp gave money to the little girl's mother, Susan Jordan, who has a drug problem, according to DCF.
DCF said it found out last year that Kemp had the child, so they forced her to resign or be fired and placed the child with her great aunt.
"She took the little girl. How she took her was wrong, but she got her and they have an attachment," said the girl's aunt, Anita Gibson.
The aunt told Channel 9 she sympathizes with Kemp emotionally but wants the little girl to grow up with her brothers to stay together as a family.
"I actually feel for her right now. It wasn't me who put you in this situation, you put yourself in this situation," said Gibson.
Gibson wants to keep her niece, where she'll be raised with her brothers.
"This is an absolutely heartbreaking scenario. It's a complicated scenario. It comes down to an innocent child who's now a victim," Carrie Proudfit, with DCF, said.
Kemp is fighting to get the girl back and swore in court documents that she's been raising the little girl since the day she was born.
Kemp is claiming in court paperwork that she's actually related to the child through her grandfather, but the girl's family is challenging that claim.
DCF said the state inspector general is investigating whether Kemp possibly falsified documents to keep the situation hidden from DCF.