Norfolk, Va. – Shakuria Turner has not seen her two-year-old daughter in nearly two weeks.
“I can’t touch her or nothing,” she said. “It hurts.”
Turner told NewsChannel 3 she took her daughter to the girl’s father’s home November 30.
Turner said he has not seen her much since she was born, and he wanted to become involved. However, when she went to pick the toddler up two days later, both dad and daughter were gone.
“It’s not fair,” Turner said.
Turner said she went to cops and courts the next day. Both told her the father has a right to take the child anywhere without her permission.
“They’re basically telling me I got to sit and wait for him to bring her back,” said Turner. “That could be years from now.”
The father’s name is not on the birth certificate, but Norfolk Legal Aid Society attorney Lauren Mehosky said that does not change things in a case like this.
“If the both parties have come to an agreement and acknowledge that he’s the father, he would still have the rights to act as the father,” Mehosky said.
Mehosky urges parents in Turner’s situation to file for a custody order.
“When there’s no custody order in place, Virginia law states that both parents have an equal right to the physical possession of the child, which means that one parent can take the child to another place without there being repercussions,” she said.
Turner said she tried to get an order, but she does not have an address for where he is. She can only guess based on a brief phone call from him to her mother.
“He didn’t give her any information. He could tell you anything. He said he was in Georgia but we don’t know that,” Turner said.
Turner said she is willing to push through the red tape and get a lawyer if she has to.
“I love her and I’m coming for her,” Turner said.