captain Dennis E. Romano Jr., the commander of the Child Protection Investigation Department of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, told E! Messages in a statement that they “understand externally that the actions of their department” appear indifferent.

Romano said, “But let me assure you that we always have the welfare of children and families in mind.” Only direction we have to take. “

Mercado, who finished third in the 2008 ABC contest, wrote on GoFundMe that she took Ra to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital for help in March after her milk yield was “low”. She said CPS took her baby, who was 15 months old at the time, after claiming, “We refused a B12 injection which was a matter of life and death, which is an outright lie. We never turned down a B12 injection, and at no point was he on the verge of death. ”

According to the press conference, the children are currently in the care of an estranged relative and their parents are allowed to visit them once a week.

E! News reached out to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office for updates on the case or a response to the press conference, but we have received no feedback.