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Kailah's Story

On August 29, 1997, my three month old daughter, Kailah, was kidnapped from her crib by her father. When I called the police, since I told them that her father had taken her, they told me that they would not help me because there is no such thing as Parental Kidnapping in North Carolina.  The law states that the father has as much right to the child as the mother even though his name was not on the birth certificate.  I was forced to hire any attorney and I hired Catrina Mercer in Stanly Co. and paid her $750.00.  I also went to see Judge Ronald Burris in Stanly Co., Albemarle, North Carolina, who was outraged and signed temporary custody papers over to me so I  could get my daughter back.

When the police went to retrieve my daughter, she was nowhere to be found, the birthfather, Timothy Lee Biles, had hidden her.  The local Sheriff's department did not have time to devote themselves to finding Kailah.   The next morning we went back to the Sheriff's department and saw the Bile's family going into the courthouse.  Their attorney had arranged for a custody hearing that morning in court with another judge, Judge Kevin Bridges, because the judge that originally signed temporary custody papers the day before, Judge Ronald Burris, left to go on a family trip out of North Carolina.  I called my attorney, Catrina Mercer, several times and finally the presiding judge, Judge Kevin Bridges, got tired of waiting and sent a deputy to find her.  She was shopping at a grocery store and the deputy brought her to court by judge's orders.  She was not prepared.  By this time, the birthfather had a courtroom full of people that he called to appear on his behalf.   I didn't know any of these people but they all had untrue things to say about me in court.  My attorney could have easily proved them wrong but she was so unprepared, she said nothing and did not even defend me. 

Kailah's birthfather, Timothy Lee Biles, a sixteen year old child, was awarded custody, even though we could not press kidnapping charges against a minor child, he could be awarded custody!

I had to hire a different attorney, Lisa Currie of Albemarle, NC.  For an entire year, she did not bring my case to court and finally after hounding her, she arranged for a custody hearing in December, 1998.  When I went to court there were several things I was unaware of; Lisa Currie did not ask for custody or visitation and at this time I was charged to pay child support - an amount I cannot afford, $269.00 per month to cover the AFDC Timothy Biles is receiving for Kailah.   Even though Kailah and the Biles family receives Medicaid, I am legally binded to carry Kailah on any insurance policy I have.  I cannot even afford insurance for myself!

The ONLY good thing to come out of going to court in December, 1998, was that I got to see my daughter for four days.  The hardest thing I have ever had to do was to take her back to the Bile's home after the visit. 

I am only 20 years old and am running out of ideas.  I cannot hire a respectable, honest attorney in Albemarle, NC, and basically cannot afford huge attorney fees.  I never gave my daughter up, she was stolen from me.  It has almost been two years and I am missing the most important things in my daughter's life.  I have not been able to bond with her and as a matter-of-fact, I was breastfeeding her when she was stolen.

I was never married to the birthfather and his name is not on the birth certificate.  No paternity tests have ever been done to determine paternity.  I don't see how it is legal for him to do what he has done.   In other words, anyone could say they are someone's parent and take a child with no punishment.

If anyone can help me, please email me.


Thank you,

Stephanie Burleson

Take Me Home


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