May 26, 2011
In August, 2009, Caden Reames died suddenly inside his father's Belle Plaine home. Since that day, his children have been in state custody even though there has never been a ruling of wrongdoing. Caden's death remains an open investigation, according to Belle Plaine Police Chief Gordon Fell.
"It's been too long," Matt Reames said as he drove home with his children for the first time in two years today. "It's been a long, hard battle and it's finally over today."
Today was a day full of tears. But Finally, they were tears of joy for Matt Reames and his two young children.
"It's been so long," Reames said as he picked up 4 year-old Tyler.
From the moment they stepped out of the car, Carson and Tyler Reames were happy little boys. Their dad Matt was even happier.
"We're home, aren't we?" Reames asked as he held both boys in his arms.
"We're home! We're home!!!" Tyler shouted gleefully.
The day Caden Reames died, Matt's other children were taken away by SRS while law enforcement investigated. Although police say the case is still an open investigation, there has never been an allegation that Caden Reames death was anything other than an accident.
"The hardest thing was not knowing where they were or what they were doing," Reames said. "Just not being able to talk to them and put them to bed at night."
Reames, meanwhile, admits he's not perfect and has made mistakes, just like anybody else. But he believes two years was too long for his kids to be kept from him. He says he continuously met all of SRS's requests, only to be told no.
"I've become a better father, a better parent, and an overall better person," Reames explained. "This has really changed my life and I just appreciate my kids so much more now."
At his new home, Reames made a memory table for Carson and Tyler to reflect on the loss of their brother. It is filled with pictures of their brother.
"This one was Caden's first day of school," said Reames. "This one, me and the boys went to Colorado."
During the past two years, Matt and the kids would sit on the couch and listen to their favorite song. But on this day, the song has even more meaning.
Tonight, Matt Reames will put his kids to bed as a changed man. Today, Carson and Tyler will go to bed knowing that their daddy loves them. And today, Matt Reames will begin being a father to his children again, after two very long years.