By Liz Collin

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities man in prison for murdering the mother of his daughter wants a say in how that little girl grows up.

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Tyler Wicklund is serving a life sentence for killing Jessica Buboltz nearly three years ago in her Kasota apartment. Police said their then 1-year old daughter, Emma, was inside when it happened.

The questions have moved from the horror that forced a grandmother to raise a granddaughter to a legal system that a family believes has failed them.

“Why are we not getting any help? Why are we still fighting for this? Why is this taking so long?” Dawn Buboltz said.

Dawn Buboltz fought Wicklund’s mother for two and a half years for full legal custody of Emma. Now, it’s Wicklund holding up the next step. His parental rights were only recently terminated and Tyler has appealed that from prison.

“I want to adopt her so it’s real because the real world has been taken away from her,” Dawn Buboltz said.

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Wicklund killed Jessica Buboltz after the two went to a Halloween party together. He admitted to police that he slit her throat while Emma slept in another room in her crib.

“That day, he put her life in total endangerment,” Dawn said.

Wicklund’s attorney argues his actions don’t make him an unfit parent and says he wants to remain in her life. He wants the freedom to send Emma letters and talk to her on the phone from behind bars.

Dawn Buboltz will do what she can so that doesn’t happen — vowing to continue to fight for a little girl that lost both of her parents in one night.

“I don’t get to rest. I don’t get to rest anymore until I win everything then I will rest,” Dawn said.

A judge is supposed to make a decision in September.

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Wicklund could be eligible for parole in 30 years. That would make him 55 and Emma would be 32.

Liz Collin