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Horn Lake Police Investigating 11-Year-Old Boy’s Death

Posted on: 10:22 pm, February 8, 2014, by

(Horn Lake, MS) There’s mystery surrounding the death of an 11-year-old boy in Horn Lake.  The boy was found dead in his home Thursday on Valleybrook Cove. Police are still waiting for autopsy reports but the boy’s family members believe his death was anything but natural.

The boy’s birth mother says she got to see her son’s body in the funeral home and that he was extremely skinny and looked abused.

The pictures that News Channel 3 has of Tyler Raines are from many years ago because his family members, who gave them to us, say they haven’t been able to see him in years.

“His dad and his step-mother refused to let anybody in the family see him,” said Rebecca Gaines, the boy’s aunt.

Thursday, the 11-year-old was found dead in his Horn Lake home on Valleybrook Cove while in the care of his father and step-mother.

“We are waiting on medical examiner reports,” said DeSoto County District Attorney John Champion. “The postmortem exam was done yesterday.”

DeSoto County investigators say the boy had been home schooled for at least two years while the other children in the house went to school, a grave concern to the boy’s aunt, in Chattanooga.

“In my opinion, they were obviously trying to keep anyone else from knowing what`s going on with the little boy,” said Gaines.

“I saw the little boy last Saturday for the first time since they moved here,” said Neighbor Mary Sullivan. “He looked skinny. He looked very skinny. I really thought that he was probably 7 or 8 years old. I was really surprised when I found out he was 11 years old.”

While boy’s mothers says Tyler’s father refused to let her see him for the last year and a half, she says she got to see him Saturday in the funeral home before he was cremated and what she saw made her believe something terrible happened. She says he was emaciated and looked severely abused.

For now, the district attorney, who could only talk to WREG on the phone, isn’t saying much.

“This is one we are keeping close to the vest until we know exactly what happened,” said Champion.

Neighbors and family of the little boy are waiting for answers.

“It just breaks my heart that none of us did something sooner,” said Gaines.

The aunt is hoping someone will come forward who had seen the child or interacted with child in the weeks before he died. The DA”s office says it could take weeks for the autopsy report to come back or it may be available as soon as Monday.

73 comments

  • Pat Evans says:

    Is there no one who checks on the kids who are home-schooled?

  • Greg says:

    What kind of Mother accepts not being allowed to see her son for a year and a half?

    • Observant citizen says:

      Agree! She should have called the cops for a well being check. They could have demanded to see him to check on his well being. Then the child protective service would have gotten involved.

    • Citizen says:

      It is very easy to speculate about a situation when you don’t know the entire story yet! (There is something wrong if the only question you have after reading that is where is his mother) ! What kind of father and step mother allow this to happen in their own home ? Where the step mom and dad are suppose to protect and care for ALL their children! The little boy looked to the stepmom and dad for safety, food, and love. What happened to Tyler Raines is my question. Hopefully there will be justice for him and his family. Rest in peace Tyler .

    • todd tegetoff says:

      That’s a real nasty comment to even make. You should be ashamed of yourself. There’s parents out there who don’t let the other see the kid. Do you really think she needs to hear that while grieving the loss of her child. Your just cold hearted

    • austinandjustin says:

      There are some people who I called Adams. Adam refers to when God asked Adam a simple yes or no question, did you eat of the tree of knowledge replied that woman. No matter what has been done they will find a way to blame a woman. The mother did not have custody. She did not abuse/neglect her son. She wasn’t responsibility for anything, if anything happened to him. But much like Adam your response is blaming that woman.

    • Will Crump says:

      To Greg and Observant Citizen….It’s easy to sit back and point the finger when one doesn’t have emotional connection to the situation. Who is to say that the Mother didn’t try to see her son and have him checked on? So many times in situations like this it’s very possible that she did go to the authorities and was told “Sorry, Ma’am, but there’s nothing we can do at this point.” You both need to get your Bibles out and read Matthew 7 verses 1 through 5 which says:

      Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
      Mat 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured unto you.
      Mat 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
      Mat 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me cast out the mote out of thine eye; and lo, the beam is in thine own eye?
      Mat 7:5 Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

      • this is very true. the state of mississippi will not get involved with any case reguarding children without proper paperwork. I’m in a situation where I tried to call the police (with paperwork) and they refused to help me. (and i am from HL) because it was not a priority to them.. to often this happens. it’s not the mothers fault she did not have custody. and you never know she could of went over there but her stepping on someone elses property without custody can land her in jail big time. it’s the fathers and step mothers fault.

      • me says:

        I so agree with what was said . But it’s so said that little boy was beaten to death . God has him now and the parent’s will be judged

      • Will Crump says:

        Jessica Barnett, thanks for your supportive comment. Again, from the outside looking in, it seems children in truly life-threatening situations are left there to languish and sometimes die. They can be getting beaten, starved, or worse and CPS (Child Protective Services) doesn’t seem to notice even when tipped off, but Christian parents who see to it their children are loved, well-fed, raised in a clean environment, and taken care of often lose their kids because they give them a deserved spanking for disrespect, disobedience, or doing something dangerous. Ironically, in the situation with the good parents who DISCIPLINE (NOT ABUSE) their children are the ones who end up losing their children quicker than you can say “Scat!”

        I’m not trying to change the subject to corporal punishment. I just wanted t point out the sad case of how CPS sits on their butt and acts helpless when truly needed, but charge in with all the weight they can throw around when it is NOT warranted.

    • Sherrie says:

      Why did it take a death of a child for anyone to say anything? Anyone that knew something wasnt right should have spoke up before now. Why did the Mother accept that she was not allowed to see her son? Why didnt extended family members contact DCS with their concerns?

      • Sherrie says:

        There are a lot of unanwered questions. The News says the boy was homeschooled yet the other children attended school. Why didnt they send him to school? Did he have a learning disability? Did he have health issues? How long had he been living with them? When was the last time he saw a Doctor? The News says there were open DCS cases for this household. When was the last time DCS checked the house?

      • The truth says:

        Dhs was doing nothing. They had moved a lot. I’m my opinion prolly from dhs. They kept him at home bc they said he was “to bad for school” it says in some comments he wasn’t being home school but I don’t know for a fact. I do know that family tried to see him dhs and the police were contacted but they said it was a civil case that would have to be taken to court. His birth mother doesn’t have that kind of money she was and is taking care of two other children and honestly had no idea this was going on. She wasn’t allowed to see or contact Tyler. I’m pretty sure this has been said several times.

  • Randy Brown says:

    Cremated awful quick for an investigation to still be going on .

    • Linda says:

      He has not been cremated yet!! You don’t know the whole story there was many attempts made by the mom and many other family members to see him and to call and talk to him, but we’re turned away. Life isn’t cut and dry. Prayers for the family.

  • Randy Brown says:

    Just responding to what I read. Maybe the news needs to get more information before they print. Totally agree with the prayers

  • Linda says:

    Let’s place blame where blame is do!

  • Citizen says:

    its easy to speculate about a situation when you don’t know the entire story yet! (There is something wrong if the only question you have after reading that is where is his mother) ! What kind of father and step mother allow this to happen in their own home ? Where the step mom and dad are suppose to protect and care for ALL their children! The little boy looked to the stepmom and dad for safety, food, and love. What happened to Tyler Raines is my question. Hopefully there will be justice for him and his family. Rest in peace Tyler .

  • don't judge says:

    Sad!!!!!

  • TrustGod says:

    Have their other children been taken away? They have 7 or 8 children.

  • Sherry says:

    I agree with Randy, why cremate the body so quickly? What if the coroner needed to go back and double check something? Evidently the coroner already made his mind up to what the cause of death was.

  • Linda says:

    He hasn’t been cremated yet, that was written wrong.

  • tammy says:

    There was no remorse shown by the dad or step mom. Yes there is 7 other children……. dad and step mom will spend time in jail and I pray the other 7 children end up in a loving home. As for Tylers family that loved him I wish yall peace. One thing I dont understand is…… I am a mother and if my ex tried to keep my child from me …. there is too many legal options for it to end up being over a year before I seen my baby!

  • TrustGod says:

    Have the parents been arrested yet??

  • Carla says:

    In response to “Is there no one who checks on the kids who are home-schooled?” It is not up to the school attendance officer to go door to door to check on home-schooled children any more than it is the responsibility of anyone else to go door to door to check on under school aged children. It is the responsibility of a parent to provide what their child needs, both in terms of education & physical needs. Stories like this give homeschool parents (& kids) a bad name because people think if you home school, you stay home & do nothing all day. Nothing is further from the truth! Prayers for this child’s family, regardless of why he was homeschooled.

    • wcrump44 says:

      Carla, I am not involved in homeschooling in any way, but I wanted to agree with what you said with regard to the topic. I believe home schooled children get a better education and a much better environment. Many parents who home school do so at least in part on religious grounds. They don’t want their children exposed to the atheistic indoctrination they would receive on a daily basis daily in the public schools in the form of Darwinian atheistic evolution. They may also want their children to receive the true picture of America’s historically Christian heritage which has been by far and large edited out of the history books. Parents who home school are also protecting their children from being bullied. So often public school officials turn blind eyes and deaf ears to children who have been bullied and marginalized. Just recently there was the issue of the school where students were going into the basement to use drugs and engage in illicit sexual conduct. What was the school’s response? Refusing to acknowledge what was right under their noses until the news media put it in their face to the point that they would have looked like they had something to hide if they didn’t acknowledge the situation.
      Parents who home school often take their children on educational outings the likes of which aren’t experienced in the public schools.
      From what I understand from the outside looking in, it seems that the state government wants to impugn home schooling by not recognizing their version of a high school diploma until the student takes some sort of state-sponsored test. I could be mistaken on this point.

      • Carla says:

        Thank you! I homeschooled my child for 8 years. We chose to do it because of the school district that we lived in at the time, as well as the fact that we felt (with proper curriculum), we could give him a better education at home. There are many reasons that parents homeschool. Some parents, especially with children that are exceptionally smart or have emotional issues, choose to do it to give their child the best learning environment possible. When we moved & the time was right for my child, he was tested at the school & proved that he was above proficient. He has continued to excel & is consistently on the honor roll. I cannot say this happens for all homeschooling families, but for the most part, homeschooling parents are dedicated to providing the best education for their child. It just hate to see homeschooling even brought up as an issue because it gives it a bad name. So the child was taught at home? As far as somebody checking up on these kids, there are kids who are in public schools that go thru just as bad, or worse! Again, praying for those involved. No matter who did what, the family is suffering in the death of this precious little boy.

  • Very concerned says:

    There are 6 children still with them. We have one that lived with them until 3 years ago. He was the oldest out of the 8 kids. After seeing this today we had to sit him down and of corse tell him this horrible news because he grew up & leaved with Tyler for 7 yrs or so. There are a lot of unanswered questions about the whole thing. We have known for a long time things weren’t right in that home. I hope & pray the police truly investigate this very well, there are numerous DHS reports in almost every place they have every lived. We even told the guardian ad litem that was appointed to our case that we were worried about the other kids. But she decided not to do the home study or a very in depth investigation. Maybe this could have been prevented!
    I wish someone was available to talk to on a Sunday in regards to this.
    Our prayers are with the Mother, & her family we know who she has been dealing with for a long time!
    Also wish & praying for the safety of the other 6 children in that home.

    • Aunt says:

      I have an investigative reporter that wants to cover this tragedy on the Child Protective services angle. She has asked me to get in touch with anyone that either contacted HPS or the police on this family. I think you might be Nicks’s spouse, from all the pieces I’m gathering. I have her name, work #, cell # & email address. Would you be willing to talk with her? She said if she can get enough complaints of lack of investigating or doing the job they were paid to do, she would love to take it on. Please get in touch with me, if you will do it. Thanks

    • Aunt says:

      I have an investigative reporter that wants to cover this tragedy on the Child Protective services angle. She has asked me to get in touch with anyone that either contacted HPS or the police on this family. I think you might be Nicks’s spouse, from all the pieces I’m gathering.

    • Aunt says:

      I have her name, work #, cell # & email address. Would you be willing to talk with her? She said if she can get enough complaints of lack of investigating or doing the job they were paid to do, she would love to take it on. Please get in touch with me, if you will do it. Thanks

  • The truth says:

    His momma has three other children. She couldn’t afford an attorney. She didn’t know that any of this was going on. Believe me if she did she would have gotten him and his brother out of there. She loves her children and thought she was doing what was in there best interest. Like anyone with children would do. She is an amazing mother and no one would have thought that a child’s dad and step mom would do this to a child. So please stop bashing her. She isn’t a terrible mother she had no idea that anythimh was happening and she tired to go see them she called and no one would answer. She went to their house and was told to leave she wasn’t welcome. Y’all don’t know the whole situation or everything that she has been though so don’t judge her. Instead of worrying about why she didn’t do anything to stop it worry about helping the family get justice for Tyler.

  • Truth says:

    This is very awful

  • Momof2 says:

    I knew of them through a friend and they weren’t home schooling! That is a lie. Everyone who knows them knows that.

  • Help Us Lay Tyler To Rest says:

    There is an online fundraiser set up to help lay Tyler to rest for any of those that would like to help! Thank you in advance! I have posted the link below.

    http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/help-lay-tyler-to-rest-/136805

  • Truth says:

    Amanda Parker Rains and tommy Raines were the parents they failed to mention their Names yeah don’t see them home schooling anyone these people are so Wrong in so many levels

  • Randy Brown says:

    REST IN PEACE LITTLE TYLER !!!!

  • Ferg says:

    This is all George Bush’s fault !!! The system worked!

  • Ferg says:

    You mean to tell me…..these white, trailer-trash, meth-headed, food stamp recipients with 7 or 8 children have possibly murdered a child and not ONE time have these cockroaches been called “hoodrats, ghetto, thugs,” or any other racist code words you new, “subtle” racists use to refer to any black person in the news? Hmmmm……I wonder how much more worthless white trash is out there, hiding in plain sight???

    • Robert says:

      If people don’t want to be called hoodrats, ghetto or thug, then don’t be hoodrat, ghetto, or thug. If these people are responsible for the death of this child there is only one word that needs to be used… guilty. Before you bring your ignorantly typical race baiting crap why don’t you google the name Mona Yvette Nelson. The fact that you have never heard this name before but can tell me every fact about Treyvon should tell you everything you need to know about the two sides of the issue you want to bring up. Racism is a two way street in case no one ever taught you that inconvenient fact.

    • This is very very sad my heart goes out to him. Its sad that no one put in the effort to check on this child by bring the law with them to this father’s home if he would not allow anyone see this child. Red flags should have gone up, after not hearing from this child. This may have been prevented if someone had said something to the courts about the child’s welfare. Seems to me that this child had been neglected for many years and no one really check to see if he was OK and going to school.

  • Justina Durfee says:

    This is heart breaking. Sad how a child has to lose his life in order for the their living situation and their parenting to come to the surface. Just pray for the family and their comfort. This will not be another case brushed d under the rug I can promise that. Rest in peace Tyler. Blame is needed where its do. Amanda and Tommy both need to be put in custody untill this is resloved and the remainder of the child need to be in states custody.

  • winter says:

    The ONLY one knows is God, the kid and the perp that did it! I’ll leave it at that.

  • Nick says:

    I did tell the courts I got my son out of there thank god it took we twice going to court against these bad people and KIm jones didn’t do a good home study on them she didn’t even go to the house to see any of the living conditions this could of been avoided. This will not go unnoticed I don’t see them getting out of these one. These people are scum of earth heartless souls that don’t care about no one but there selves it hurts me to know that my son’s mother is this monster

    • Aunt says:

      Nick, I was at the funeral and you were pointed out to me. I don’t know how to get in touch with you, but I have an investigative reporter that wants to cover the Child Protective Services angle of this tragedy. We need to get anyone that has direct knowledge of either turning this family into the police or DHS to contact her. I’m not sure if you will read this, but I didn’t know how to get in touch with you. I can give you the reporter name, phone, cell & email. Fingers crossed that you get this message.

    • Aunt says:

      Nick, I was at the funeral and you were pointed out to me. I don’t know how to get in touch with you, but I have an investigative reporter that wants to cover the Child Protective Services angle of this tragedy.

  • Unsure says:

    I Have they already had funeral services

  • Glad you got your son out safe, you did what any responsible parent would do. It so unfortunate that this little fellow went unnoticed . If the conditions were bad for your son, then why not seek help for all the children? What stopped you?

    • Nick says:

      No one listened Kim jones and the judge said it wasn’t my concern I did every thing I could the system isn’t doing it’s job what could I d of done if the judge and Kim wouldn’t listen then what ?

  • me says:

    People are going to talk no matter what Amanda and tommy are awesome parents, I know first hand, they loved those kids very much, and would never let anything happen to those kids. People need to shut their mouth and stop making threats, find out what is really going on first hand before you go flapping your jaws because the truth will come out and when yall find out the truth your going to be eating your words, Trust on this. As for the BIRTH mother she gave her two boys away she didn’t want them, now she wants to be mother of the year. Noone kept anyone away from anybody, their momma made her choice.

    • The truth says:

      Obviously you don’t know the whole story about the birth mom. She DID want her boys. She DID try to see them. she DID try to call. She DIDNT give her boys away she did what she thought was best for them at the time. You know like any RESPONSIABLE parent would do, so you need to get your facts straight before you get on here accusing her of not wanting them boys. Oh and if tommy and Amanda are such good parents why did Tyler die? Why did one of the kids get taken away? Why did they have dhs cases open every where they had ever lived? You don’t know what good parenting is if you think that’s it cause believe you me it’s not.

  • ?? says:

    @me go back to cooking your meth u obviously have some kind of jaded relationship with the people that had a hand in this little boys death. An 11 yr old boy doesn’t just die of natural causes. And if they were such great parents why have other children been taken from the home?? The state doesn’t do that when there’s not a problem.

  • kathyR says:

    To Tyler’s mama, i am so sorry for your loss. I understand because children are being kept from their parents every day and the legal system in MS doesnt care in fact, they r the ones who are to blame along with the bio dad and stepmom. Can anyone tell me the names of the judge, guardian ad litem and that demented dad’s attorney’s names involved in this custody case? To Nick, Dont trust Kim Jones, she needs to be disbarred.

  • me says:

    Ok first of all let me tell you something, I have a friend that her child passed away, they did they same thing to her, When a child/anyone dies in the home and they are under age or any age at that matter there is always going to be an investigation, and take the other kids out of the home until proof is given. DUH The news is only going by what they want to go by, only getting pieces of info that they want and what shady people have told them, So let me ask this. WHY isn’t the birth mothers other son with her right now????? Think about that one for a minute, All of yall people will see Dad and step mom aren’t the blame. So talk all yall want. The truth will come out the autopsy wont lie. So keep talking your trash because that’s what people do. If they really think they parents are at fault Don’t you think they would be in jail by now? Shaking my head at stupid people right now. Unless you know them personally and know for a fact then keep your mouth shut because you will be putting your foot where your mouth is when all is said and done.

  • KathR says:

    If the bio dad and step mom didn’t have anything to hide, then why did they keep the child away from his mom and her family? I will tell you why it is called “abuse and evil”.

  • Nick says:

    Yeah please someone block the meth head friend of these evil people they don’t have A clue about truth

    • Aunt says:

      We need to get anyone that has direct knowledge of either turning this family into the police or DHS to contact her. I’m not sure if you will read this, but I didn’t know how to get in touch with you. I can give you the reporter name, phone, cell & email. Fingers crossed that you get this message. (sorry I can’t tell if the first one went thru)

  • Me says:

    And nick neither do you, and I know you personally. So shut your trap

  • Sickened says:

    It looks like Nick is the only one is this whole situation who has any sense! He got his child out of this mess before it was to late! You can’t defend someone who lives out of a motel and sells their food stamps to buy meth instead of feeding their children! You need a reality check and learn the value of human life honey!!

  • ?? says:

    @nick. Thank you for speaking up and letting everyone know what scum they are. Someone needs to pay for this!!!

  • Mary says:

    How innocent are they now???? They have just been charged with capital murder! Poor baby Tyler.

  • ?? says:

    @me where is ur big mouth now!!!! You don’t get charged with capital murder for being a good parent. Come on I want to hear you praise them now!!!

  • Justina Durfee says:

    Rejoicing they have been charged. May tyler finally rest in peace

  • Unsure says:

    What was the cause of death

  • Justice says:

    Betond thrilled that this is in Mississippi where they have the DEATH penalty !!! And actually use it! Your days are numbered tommy and Amanda! Rest in peace Tyler! No other children will suffer by the hands of these MONSTERS!!!!

  • wcrump44 says:

    It is sad that this little boy died such a horrific death, but those of us with a Christian faith know that this little guy is now in a far better place.

    Mat 18:1 In that hour came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
    Mat 18:2 And he called to him a little child, and set him in the midst of them,
    Mat 18:3 and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.
    Mat 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
    Mat 18:5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me:

    Those who knew and loved this little boy will undoubtedly and understandably miss him, but at least now he is where he’ll never shed another tear. He won’t be scared, sad, lonely, afraid, or in pain.

    Rev 7:16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun strike upon them, nor any heat:
    Rev 7:17 for the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them unto fountains of waters of life: and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes.

    v 21:4 and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away.

  • wcrump44 says:

    The last scripture I cited was Rev. 21:4. I didn’t highlight the “Re” in “Rev” when I did a “copy & paste”. Sorry ’bout that.

  • The AUNT says:

    There is probably a lot more people that know these beasts that reported concerns to someone, like police, child protective svc…I’m not for more government, but I AM for doing the job you get paid for thoroughly! This hurts so bad and I know it’s going to get worse when we start hearing more of the story in court. I never thought I’d ever know anyone that was murdered, much less tortured first and just a little boy. Beyond my comprehension. My family loved Tyler very much.

  • ??? says:

    Does anybody know what happened at their hearing today

  • The AUNT says:

    Would like to know about the hearing??

  • Aunt says:

    If anyone has called either the police, sheriff or DHS on this family, would you please get in touch with me? I have an investigative reporter that would like to look into this tragedy. Please respond & we can figure out the best way to get in touch with each other, so that I can give you her email & phone numbers. I had to accept when Tyler was taken out of my “extended family’s” lives, I’m not accepting that because someone whose job it was to check on children or homes that were reported, didn’t do it. He was such a sweet little boy.

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