This is absolutely heartbreaking. Former “American Idol” alum, Syesha Mercado, who competed on season 7 in 2008 shared the devastating experience of how her newborn daughter was taken from her and her partner earlier this week.
Last week, Mercado, 34, took to Instagram to share a hourlong video filmed by her partner Tyron Deener on Tuesday, August 10th, which she captioned “THEY TOOK OUR BABY AGAIN!”
The video showed the family pulled over by Manatee County Sheriff’s department in Sarasota, Florida with the police attempting to conduct a roadside welfare check. The police handed over paperwork showing a court order of custody to take Mercado and Deener’s newborn to a hospital for a physical exam. In the video a police officer explains the paperwork is the result of case management attempting to see the child and being turned away. Deener tried to explain that he referred the case worker who inquired about Mercado recently giving birth, to speak to their attorney. Both Mercado and Deener attempted to inform the authorities that their daughter had just visited a doctor the day before, but they were unable to reason with them and the video ultimately shows Mercado tearfully putting her daughter in the case worker’s car while pleading for empathy over being separated from her daughter, who was being breast fed.
During the video, there are multiple references to Syesha being traumatized for the second time, as well as Deener and Mercado mentioning their 15-month-old son Amen-Ra, who was taken away in late February following allegations of malnutrition. According to Fox 13 reports, Mercado’s milk supply began drying up while she was pregnant and her son was having difficulty adjusting to formula and solid food.
In May, Syesha posted a video where she tearfully accused the hospital and authorities of “legalized kidnapping.”
“They Kidnapped My Baby!!!!!” her post began, before describing how Amen-Ra was taken away from the couple on March 11th.
I was surrounded by CPS and armed officers with racially charged questions, and FALSE claims that we refused a B12 shot during our hospital stay to get my sun fluids. Ra was transitioning from extended breastfeeding to the bottle. My Sun was placed in a white foster home bypassing our qualified relatives for placement. THIS IS LEGALIZED KIDNAPPING!
Syesha has continued to document the months since Amen-Ra was removed from their home with multiple social media posts.
In one post Syesha addressed the “System” directly, questioning why her son had been taken and not returned:
System why have you demonized a situation that could have happened to any breast feeding mother and her offspring?
System why have you falsely accused me of Neglect and Abuse to the most precious life I’ve ever known? A life that was created inside my womb.
We have so many questions… Something seems extremely wrong that Amen-Ra has not been returned after so many months. The daughter’s case sounds like a possible miscommunication that we hope will get cleared up quickly if the baby is healthy.
Mercado gave birth to her daughter less than two weeks ago, at home with midwife services. Those who have any experience with the social work system already know that because Amen-Ra has been removed from his parent’s care, their newborn’s birth and welfare would likely be monitoredas well. Based on the video Deener filmed, he has custody of three older children, but based on the video, it sounded like because their case is under a different county the household is being considered differently in the case of the younger two children.
We’re praying for Syesha and her kids, especially that she be reunited with her babies soon and they are healthy and safe.