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

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(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.


  • me

    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

    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”.

    • Aunt

      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)

  • Sickened

    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!!

  • ??

    @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!!!

  • Justice

    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

    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.

  • The AUNT

    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.

  • Aunt

    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.

Comments are closed.