Former ‘American Idol’ Contestant Says Her Children Were ‘Kidnapped’ By Authorities
Singer and actress Syesha Mercado, who was an American Idol finalist in 2008, is fighting for custody of her children.
According to the Miami Herald, Mercado and her partner Tyron Deener took their 15-month-old son, Amen’Ra, to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida on Feb. 26 because he wasn’t accepting fluids. Mercado and Deener were then accused of malnourishing the child. He was put into foster care by late March.
The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office claims the hospital staff said Mercado and Deener refused a B-12 intramuscular shot for the child, which they both deny.
They have been fighting to get custody of Amen’Ra three months. On Syesha Mercado’s Instagram, her bio reads “My son was legally kidnapped.”
Mercado recently gave birth to a newborn. On August 11, Mercado and Deener were stopped by police, according to the Miami Herald and video posted on her Instagram. There was reportedly a court order to turn over the baby, who was 10 days old at the time, for a checkup at the hospital.
In the disturbing video, Mercado can be heard saying through tears to police,“My baby is days old, and you're taking my baby away from me. You have no heart. This is so wrong."
The 34-year-old also says, "All you had to do was call the attorney. We have all the paperwork. You guys have created so much trauma. You just expect me to come outside and be like, hi, guys, you're my friends. You're not my friends."
BuzzFeed reports child protective services tried to conduct a welfare check but Mercado and Deener referred them to their attorney before a visit. However, child protective services received orders signed by a judge to conduct a welfare investigation and secure possession of the child, which is why they were stopped by police.
After an Aug. 12 court hearing, the child remains in protective custody.
See the video below, which includes the caption, “They took our baby again.”
Donisha Prendergast, a founder of the social justice organization We Have the Right to be Right, told the Miami Herald due to the open case with their son, authorities “have a right to her unborn child. If they see fit, they can remove the baby.”
She also insisted the couple is being targeted because “This family has chosen to stand up for their rights. They are being targeted as an example.”
The Miami Herald reports the case involves physician Sally Smith, the head of the children protection team for Pinellas County, who “is considered one of the most powerful figures in the regional child welfare system and has long been criticized by defense attorneys, parents and child welfare employees for her aggressive approach.”
Syesha Mercado has raised over $208,000 via a GoFundMe page to cover legal bills.