TDoR 2023 / 2023 / May / 16 / Om Gandhi

Om Gandhi

Age 16

16 May 2023
Salt Lake City, Utah (USA)

TDoR list ref: tgeu/tdor2023/16-May-2023/Ome Gandhi

Om Gandhi
Om Gandhi [photo:]

Om was murdered by her abusive father.

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah woman whose teenage [daughter] was murdered by her ex-husband on the day before Mother’s Day says she tried for 15 years to protect her [child] but was failed by “the system.”

Now, Leah Moses and her friends are speaking out about the tragic death of Moses’ [child], 16-year-old [deadname] Gandhi, to raise attention to the issue of domestic violence and child protection.

On Saturday, the bodies of Parth Gandhi, 49, and his [daughter] were found inside his neuropsychology clinic at 2936 S. Highland Drive. Police say Gandhi shot and killed his [daughter] and then killed himself.

Gandhi was a neuropsychologist and psychedelic therapist and earned a doctor of philosophy in clinical psychology and neuropsychology from BYU with a focus on neuro-imaging and brain injury. He was active in the local yoga community and friends saw him as a kind, caring person. But others who have known Gandhi and Moses for years say there was another side to him.

On Tuesday, a GoFundMe campaign* was started in honor of Om. According to friends and family, the money raised will go into a memorial fund to help fight domestic violence, and specifically to help children.

The campaign claims that Moses, who is currently a board member of the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, “tried to warn law enforcement, child protective services and the courts that her ex-husband was an abuser — for over 15 years!”

“The Utah system that is meant to protect women and children completely failed. So, as a longtime advocate for domestic abuse survivors and as a survivor herself, Leah wants to make sure her [daughters’s] death was not in vain but that this tragic moment results in systemic change,” the campaign site says.

Moses filed for divorce from Gandhi in 2009. But the divorce was not finalized until 2014 because of continued court hearings regarding child custody, according to court records. Even after the divorce was finalized, the child custody battle continued. The most recent hearing in the ongoing legal proceeding was held last month. Moses filed for protective orders against Gandhi in 2009 and 2011, court records state.

In January 2022, Gandhi was awarded full custody of [Om], according to a temporary order issued in 3rd District Court.”Parth shall have legal custody of minor [daughter] O.M.G., with final decision-making authority regarding educational and medical issues,” the order states. “Parth shall have sole physical custody of minor [daughter] O.M.G.”

On Tuesday, the National Safe Parents Organization issued a lengthy statement regarding [Om’s] killing. According to the organization, Moses alleged “that Parth was violent and abusive, and she feared for her children’s safety. She had asked a family court commissioner to keep the child safely with her. The father was granted full custody of the boy despite substantiated allegations of domestic abuse against the father, as well as other problematic behavior.”

Gandhi, however, had accused Moses “of ‘parental alienation,’ a commonly invoked and unfortunately effective legal tactic of accused abusers in family court,” according to the organization.

“My son Om’s death was preventable,” Moses said in a prepared statement issued by the organization. “The family court system professionals ignored my pleas for help to keep my son safe. My son’s father persuaded everyone I was the problem, when in fact I was just trying to protect my child. I never want this to happen to another family, to another child. If the courts would listen to and believe survivors, this nightmare could stop.”

Report added: 5 Jun 2023. Last updated: 15 May 2024

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