Mom says test results from forgery suspect’s lab impacted custody battle
Ozark, Ala. (WSFA) - As Ozark police continue to investigate reports of falsified drug and paternity cases involving a company contracted by the Department of Human Resources, families are coming forward with claims forged documents impacted their homes.
Jennifer Seavers is one of them.
“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t cry, and I just want to bring my babies home as any parent would want to do,” Seavers said.
Seavers says she used the Department of Human Resource’s Pike County drug testing vendor, Brandy Murrah of A & J Lab Collections, as part of her custody battle for her youngest girls, Madilyn and Jennifer Grace.
Seavers said Murrah provided false positive drug tests, which prompted a judge to order restrictions on her access to her children - further complicating the custody battle.
“I knew I was innocent. I don’t do drugs and knew it should have been negative and shouldn’t have been positive. My children’s tests were messed up,” Seavers said.
Seavers says because she knew she hadn’t been on drugs, she took a retest which came back negative and started looking into the original test results.
“My mother, brother, and me started doing our own research and investigating,” Seavers said.
And the results Seavers said she found were shocking but confirmed her suspicions.
“Started calling places - the address she had on the paperwork belonged to an aerospace building. We talked to the doctor [who approved the original test] and they had never read or seen my reports,” Seavers said.
After further review, it was discovered the information on one of her daughter’s tests was linked to another person.
Murrah has been arrested by Ozark police and charged with two counts of forgery for falsified documents after the doctor filed a complaint.
Dale County’s district attorney confirmed they’re looking into more forgery charges along with theft and perjury allegations. The police department confirmed they are working with other jurisdictions as part of this investigation.
Murrah’s attorney confirmed his client has worked in several counties across the state.
Now, Seavers says she’s working to undo the damage she says Murrah caused.
Her family is now taking legal action against DHR, Brandy Murrah and her company, A & J Lab Collections. Seavers is working with Attorney Troy King out of Montgomery to file a lawsuit.
“The entire system needs to be put under the microscope, but we need to understand how it happened and need to take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” King said.
While King alleges Murrah was negligent, he says as much blame falls on the Department of Human Resources.
Court records confirm Murrah pleaded guilty to fraud in 2013, according to District Attorney Kirke Adams. King and Seavers question how she was able to work for DHR.
“We want to know how did Brandy Murrah, who has a criminal history of being dishonest, ever get approved to be a testing lab they trusted,” King said.
King believes thousands of tests were completed and thousands of families may be impacted - either through custody cases, paternity cases or jobs lost through drug tests.
Meanwhile, Seavers is waiting until courts review her custody of her girls who she says she’s only seen for about 30 hours over the last four and a half months.
King confirmed his office plans to file the lawsuit Wednesday.
We have reached out to DHR to get more information about how they choose testing companies.
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