“American Idol” star Syesha Mercado and her partner are still fighting for custody of their son, who was placed in foster care after police seized him after suspecting child abuse.
In the last six months, Mercado, 34, and Tyrone Deener, 36, have had two children seized by authorities based on accusations of malnutrition. However, on Friday, Mercado announced that their newborn daughter Ast was returned to them. Ast was taken by police when she was just days old.
“AST IS HOME!!!! #BringRaHome POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!!!!” Mercado captioned the video, which sees Deener smiling with the newborn in the backseat.
In the video, Deener reminds the public that the couple is still separated from their son Amen’Ra.
Syesha Mercado performs at the Health and Hope for Africa concert gala at the Museum of Science and Industry on December 3, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. ( Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for GEANCO Foundation)
“Ast is home. We have Ast with us,” Deener said in the video, smiling. “We want to say thank you. We still got work to do to get ‘Ra back. We want to say thank you because of y’all and my family we’ve had the proper support to get the best attorneys in the country to be able to bring justice.”
Back in May, Mercado revealed to FOX Tampa Bay that the couple took their son to a hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, after her breast milk supply ran low and Amen’Ra would not drink other fluids. The boy was discharged from the hospital in March and transferred into foster care. Authorities claimed they intervened after doctors raised concerns about possible malnutrition.
“I refuse to let my story be unseen and unheard,” Mercado said at the time.
The couple says their daughter was taken in August when cops swarmed their vehicle and took the newborn to a hospital to be evaluated. They posted disturbing footage of the incident on Instagram, writing, “THEY TOOK OUR BABY AGAIN!”
Mercado broke down in tears during the incident, asking authorities, “Do you not feel anything? You guys, I’m human. This is my baby. My babies is days old — and you’re taking my baby away from me.”
On Friday, Deneer said the couple will “focus on getting those moments” and “that time” back with their daughter, but said the “work don’t stop” for their fight to be reunited with their son.
The father said he’s confident the boy will be returned.
“I know that because the power is always within us if we unite and work together we put things in place to be able to protect ourselves and our babies,” he said.
Mercado is a singer and an actress who starred in Broadway’s “The Book of Mormon.” She appeared on “American Idol” in 2008 and finished in the top three behind David Archuleta and winner David Cook.