After the October 2007 murder of her father and her mother's arrest for his killing this past February, the Daily News checks in on 5-year-old Michelle Malakov to see how she's doing. According to her paternal grandmother, the little girl calls her uncle "Daddy," "She can't be without him for a minute."

Michelle witnessed the fatal shooting of her father, well-liked dentist Daniel Malakov, in a Queens playground. (Her parents had been embroiled in a bitter custody battle over her, and Malakov had been taking the then-4-year-old to be picked up by her mother.) Malakov's ex-wife Mazultov Borukhova performed CPR on him after a male shooter fired.

In November, police picked up a suspect whose fingerprints matched those on the homemade silencer--Borukhova's uncle by marriage, whose fingerprints were in the NYPD's system because of a fare-beating charge. And this year, the Queens DA said that Borukhova had made numerous calls to her uncle and paid him $19,000 for the killing.

The Borukhova's family and Malakovs are also fighting over custody of Michelle, and Borhukova, a doctor, is requesting that Michelle visit her at Rikers Island. The child's law guardian told the News he thinks that's okay, "She's a happy kid. She has emotional challenges ahead, clearly, [but] she's a smart and strong kid."