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Naim Muhammad is charged with counts of capital murder in the drowning deaths of 3-year-old Elijah and 5-year-old Naim. Police said Muhammad killed his sons hours after abducting them while they and Kametra Sampson, his estranged girlfriend, were walking to school Monday morning.
Muhammad allegedly tried to break into his Sampson's home to kidnap 1-year-old Jeremiah after kidnapping the older children.
Sampson's brother, Brandon Turner, and his girlfriend Keosha Smith fought to keep Jeremiah away from him.
CPS said it had concerns about the safety of the children.
"We have been involved with the family before, and most recently starting in January, because of the domestic violence that was going on between the parents that was putting the children at risk," CPS spokeswoman Marissa Gonzalez said.
She said the children were not abused in the prior domestic disputes, but Jeremiah will remain in state custody until CPS can be certain Sampson's home is physically and emotionally safe for his return.
"There's so many questions about what led up to this very tragic incident, what's been going on with the family the last several days," Gonzalez said. "This is a temporary measure at this point and not something that's uncommon when this type of situation develops."
Gonzalez said CPS is working with Sampson to reunite her with her son. She said the agency would allow a family member to take custody of Jeremiah if he or she does not have a criminal record or prior history with CPS.