(Horn Lake, MS) The father and step-mother of an 11-year-old boy found dead Thursday were charged with capital murder Tuesday.
The boy, who weighed only 56 pounds when he died, was found dead in his home on Valleybrook Cove.
An investigator close to the case calls the death the worst case of child abuse he’s ever seen because the boy had bruises from head to toe.
Family members identified the boy as Tyler Raines, and 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,” the boy’s aunt, Rebecca Gaines, said.
The boy’s father, Tommy Raines, and step-mother, Amanda, are charged.
Each is being held on a $250,000 bond.
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.
“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,” neighbor Mary Sullivan said. “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 the boy’s mother 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 that what she saw made her believe something terrible happened.
She says he was emaciated and looked severely abused.