(Horn Lake, MS) There are questions about what authorities knew about the living condition of an 11-year-old Horn Lake, Miss., boy before his death.
Wednesday, DeSoto County officials charged his father, Jack Tommy Raines, and his step-mother, Amanda Raines, with capital murder.
The On Your Side Investigators wanted to know if there were any red flags that signaled something was wrong before his death.
Tyler Raines was just 56 pounds when his body was found last Thursday, a fraction of what he should have weighed.
On Wednesday, the child’s biological mother, Ashley Durfee, lashed out on Facebook.
She wrote, “I did try to see my son. They would not let me. I went to the police. They said it was a civil matter.”
Meanwhile, law enforcement held a news conference today to announce the charges.
“I can speak personally, shock horror. I don’t’ think anybody who saw the child will ever be left unaffected,” said assistant district attorney Steven Jubera.
Jubera won’t discuss conditions at the Raines’ home, but someone had recently done a thorough house-cleaning job when we visited Wednesday.
Raines’ brother answered the door when we knocked.
“Right now, we’re just focusing on the kids. We don’t have any comments at all. The trial or anything that might happen. Right now, we’re just trying to do what’s right for the kids,” Jason Raines said.
The other kids, possibly five or six, are now in DHS custody.
One neighbor saw the smallest child leave.
“Somebody came and they got her and took her away. They had papers and clothes and stuff,” said neighbor Billy Sullivan.
However, DHS isn’t talking about what happened to Tyler or if they had any warning he was in danger.
A DHS manager said, “We are unable to give information about the families that we service.”
Meanwhile, parents like Charlotte Dees can’t stop thinking about little Tyler.
Dees said, “They didn’t see signs from the other children? I don’t know. I have chills all over even thinking about it.”
The couple is still at the DeSoto County Jail.
Their bonds are $250,000 each.
If convicted, they face the death penalty.