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Former ‘American Idol’ Singer Reunited with Newborn Daughter Following Viral Video of Baby’s Removal by Police, But the Fight for Her Son Continues

Former “American Idol” contestant Syesha Mercado has won a battle in the larger custody war involving her two children.

The 34-year-old reality show alum and her partner, Tyron Deneer, were reunited with their newborn daughter Ast on Friday, Aug. 20, after the newborn was forcefully taken from the couple by authorities on Aug. 11, following allegations of malnutrition involving another child of the couple, their 1-year-old son. The moment Ast was taken was captured in a video posted by Syesha, in which police surrounded her car and left the mother in tears.

“How could you guys do this? Do you not feel anything?” Mercado asked cops in the now-viral video. “My baby is days old and you’re taking my baby away from me. You’re taking my baby away from me. You have no heart. This is so wrong.”

Reportedly, the child protection specialist unit of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office was to provide a welfare check on any additional children the couple had. When Mercado gave birth to her daughter, CPS officials visited the home of the couple after learning Mercado had delivered her daughter. The agency then reportedly gained approval to conduct a welfare investigation and remove the baby.

In an Aug. 20 video shared to her Instagram page, Deneer smiled and revealed that “our Ast is home” as he showed her sleeping peacefully in a car seat beside him. “Our Ast is home. We have our Ast with us. So we want to say thank you!” said Deneer with a smile. “We still got work to do to get Ra back, but we want to say thank you.”

Although he didn’t reveal the specifics behind how the reunion was made possible, he and Mercado beamed with pride and expressed their gratitude for the people that supported their efforts, whether financially or by spreading the word. “Because of y’all and my family we had the proper support to get the best attorneys in the country to be able to bring justice,” he continued. “Ast is back. We still gotta get Ra back…but just know that the people, through you all, we were able to counteract this unjust system and this corruption to be able to get our baby back.”

“AST IS HOME!!!! #BringRaHome POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!!!!,” Mercado exclaimed in her video’s caption.

The victory is a moment of levity for the family, however, their fight will not be over until their son, Amen’Ra, is brought home as well. When the couple took the 1-year-old to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, in March due to concerns over his difficulty transitioning from breast milk to solid foods and other fluids, instead of receiving the help they sought, they were accused of “abuse and neglect” according to Mercado. Doctors alleged Amen’Ra was malnourished and that Mercado refused him a B12 shot in a life-and-death matter. Mercado denies refusal of the shot and says her son was never “on the verge of death.” 

Instead of considering qualified relatives, authorities placed Amen’Ra into foster care; he still has not been reunited with his parents.

Baby Ast is back home with her parents Syesha Mercado and Tyron Deneer. Photo Credit: @syesha/Instagram

The couple has continued to receive support from the public as they continue their legal battle. After starting a GoFundMe page to raise money for legal fees and awareness about the “victimization of our children through the foster care system” they surpassed their original $200,000 donation goal, receiving over $434,000 at the time of this article’s writing.

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