black women

Father Claims Mom Locked Away Daughter in Mental Institution Without His Permission

By  |  0 Comments

by Chevell Davis (a exclusive)

SteVona Vallery is a beautiful fourteen year old girl who enjoys playing softball and coaching her brother’s T-ball team. Unfortunately “Vona”, as she is called by her father Steven and stepmother Leslie, Father_daughterhas been caught in the middle of a bitter, unhealthy struggle between her mother, Sherleen Ann Taylor, and her Dad.

You see there are many twists and turns in Vona’s story that would have any rational minded person wondering why someone, much less a parent, would want to put Vona through so much turmoil. Vona’s biological parents, Steven and Sherleen, were divorced back in 2003 when Vona was only three years old. Things were not great after the divorce between her parents but she did maintain a wonderful relationship between herself and her loving dad, Steven, who is very supportive of his daughter.

In 2006 Steven married his current wife, Leslie Parker-Vallery. During my interview with Mrs. Vallery, she stated that her relationship with Vona was “not the greatest” during their initial meeting but she grew to love Vona and would take her on trips to the mall, help her with her hair and talk with Vona about her grades and provide her with a positive family environment during her visits.

Steven says he’d also provided Sherleen, Vona’s mother with the child support until it was discovered that Steven had to undergo aneurism removal surgery after his condition was discovered six months ago.  During this time Mr. Vallery missed several child support payments and fell behind due to his inability to work consistently.

In the early part of 2014 the relationship between Steven and Vona’s mother, Sherleen, took a turn for the worst and became a divorced father’s nightmare. Steven insists that Sherleen, who resides in Birmingham, Alabama, began poisoning Vona’s young mind with negative comments about her father. On weekend and holiday visits when Vona would go and visit her father, she displayed ahappy and joyous disposition and was excited about her visit. On her return to her mother’s home,  she was  ridiculed and taunted by her mother, her step-mom claims.

After one particular weekend visit to her father in Atlanta her hair was restyled by her stepmother in a manner that excited Vona. As she stepped out of her father’s car at a midway drop off area between both residences, her mother began laughing and stated that she would not maintain that style and it would last only a few days. This incident was among many that Vona would endure during her ordeal. Vona  texted her father numerous times stating that she was simply trying to make her mother happy and it was not working. She was continuously being mentally abused.

The irony here is that Vona’s mother, Sherleen Taylor, has an undergraduate degree from Virginia College and a Masters degree from Walden University in Mental Health. Ms. Taylor, who is familiar with the State of Alabama’s Department of Human Resources, began utilizing her knowledge of the system in this area, claims Steven.

Sherleen has been unemployed for an undetermined period of time and according to an attorney representing Mr. Vallery, she has four open child support cases for Vona (14), Kia (18) and two younger children ages two and four.

On April 4, 2014 Steven’s world was turned upside down when he received a call from Vona’s maternal grandmother asking whether he had seen her. Steven placed several calls to Sherleen, the mother, but received no answer. Shortly thereafter Steven received a text message from Sherleen stating “she (Vona) was safe” but refused to provide any whereabouts or location of Vona.

Steven then called Vona’s high school where they refused to answer questions about her attendance due to the fact he was not listed as her father on her emergency contact information. In order to ascertain any information Steven was required to fax a copy of the divorce decree to Vona’s school. Once the school received the divorce decree a school official verified that Vona had not been in school since April 2, 2014.

At this point Steven then contacted the local police department and requested a “well-check” only to find Vona’s residence vacant. After subsequent phone calls to Vona’s mother she finally answered and advised that Vona was at Children’s Hospital. An Officer from the local police department called to verify this information and was told by hospital officials that Vona was not a patient at this location. Contact was finally made with Vona’s mother who became very belligerent and hung up the phone ceasing communication.

A call was later received from Cora Taylor, Vona’s maternal grandmother, stating she believes that Vona has been placed in a mental facility. Steven called five of the numerous facilities in the Birmingham area but was unable to retrieve any information regarding his daughter.

Steven later called the Alabama Department of Human Resources to file a complaint but was unable to accomplish this due to the fact he was not in state. He was also informed that as long as the custodial parent knows where the child was located, and she was “safe”, a complaint could not be filed.

On April 5, 2014 Steven and his wife Leslie received a call from a police officer in regards to conducting a phone interview. The officer stated that a missing person’s report could not be placed over the phone and also stated that a local relative was needed to file this report in person. At this point Vona’s grandmother, Cora Taylor, and her older sister, Kia Vallery went to the local police precinct in an attempt to file a report. Cora and Kia were told because the mother knew Vona was safe, a report would not be filed even though her whereabouts were still unknown.

Later in the evening on the same day, Facebook and Instagram pictures of Sherleen, Vona’s mother, were posted while she was in New Orleans, Louisiana. Captions underneath the photos read “enjoying my life” and “relaxing”. No further information was discovered by Steven or Leslie in reference to locating Vona.
A call was placed to the local authorities on Sunday, April 6, 2014 but Steven was told Vona was not in apparent danger, according to information provided, but they would continue to search for her.

On Monday, April 7, 2014 after no communication from Vona, Steven and Leslie accessed their insurance company’s website in an attempt to discover any information in the form of claims filed by a facility possibly institutionalizing her.

A shocking discovery was made during their investigation. Over the past 15 months 34 claims had been filed for Vona under her father’s insurance. Fifteen of those were for mental health and 19 were filed for medical causes. Some of the claims listed were ER visits, mental health consultations, x-rays of forearms and wrists (possible suicidαl inflicted injuries), strep cultures, EKG and an HPV shot. It was also discovered that Vona was at one point on Zoloft, an antidepressant. Vona was always an eye roll or a heated discussion with her mother away from a trip in a strait jacket to the emergency room and treated as an “emotionally acting out” teenager in need of treatment. Some of the facilities that housed Vona at any given time were UAB, Children’s Hospital and Mountain View.

None of the claims listed had been brought to the attention of her father, Steven, even though he has been providing insurance for his daughter since birth. What Steven and Leslie found very shameful about their findings was the picture that was painted of Vona having severe mental health issues to anyone that was not familiar with this happy, healthy, energetic and beautiful teenager?

Numerous discussions were held with the state of Alabama Department of Human Resources seeking help to rescue Vona but have fallen on deaf bureaucratic ears. Steven was told because he was not a resident of the state of Alabama his options were limited and a joint custody court order that was issued as a part of the divorce is meaningless. Other reasons that prevented him from receiving any cooperation is because of the amount of child support arrears he has accumulated due to his illness. Currently DHR of Alabama has closed the case.

The Vallerys recently received a letter from United Behavior Health, in regards to services rendered when Vona was admitted on April 3, 2014 and they are requesting payment.

If you want to help this father, go here.