Abused & Killed: 11-Year-Old Weighed 56 Pounds

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Tyler, Tommy and Amanda Raines

(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.


  • The truth

    Y’all all need to shut up talking about Ashley she did try she called the police she tried to see them. The police to her it was a civil case and she would have to go to court. Ever think that Maybe she couldn’t pay for that? Ever think maybe she had two other children that she had to take care of and ever think that she couldn’t afford to go to jail for trespassing? Hmm? Ever think about all that! She did try! She tried her hardest to see them she did what she could. She tried she is a wonderful mother. So just stop! I mean honestly people don’t call her a bad mother she loves her babies.

    • austinandjustin

      For some reason being on the internet seems to bring out the worst in some people. I’m so sorry the boy’s mother is reading those vile comments somehow blaming her for son’s death. Please know that feeling, thinking people do no have those thoughts anywhere in their hearts or minds. We are so sorry for the senseless suffering and death of her son. My prayers are with you.

    • MS Sux!

      My heart goes out the mother. My sister is the mother of a child who was kidnapped by her father and hidden for months in MS. MS Police nor courts were help becuase he’d been in MS for 6 months so automatically established residency.. put the child in a school there and told school mother was not allowed to see her. Police ended up saying it was civil case and sis had to borrow money to fight in court but they didn’t care. Crack addict felons can stand up in court and lie and the judges in MS just turn a blind eye. Pitiful justice system that protects abusers not children. I am so sorry for this terrible loss. Prayers and Love to the mother, family and friends of this precious child. May you soon find peace in knowing he is no longer suffering.

    • Laura

      Just as an fyi, you don’t need a lawyer to go into family court…she could have filled out the paperwork herself and gone.

  • A Mother, A child

    I am amazed at how such a tragedy has provoked so many selfish comments- a moment of silence for the dearly beloved child who will never fall in love or get married or share his first kiss or make that one best friend that could have been his best man.

  • Pea Green

    There should be a special enclosure for all child abuse folks. Men and women should be made to live together and just let them kill each other. I cannot believe the amount of “parents” who have been abusing and killing their own kids. Sick ba**ards need burned at the stake.

  • Bud

    This entire story is deeply disturbing on so many levels. I have no idea why the mother did not have the child or why she did not see him on a regular basis. I went through a divorce and I saw my kids every other weekend and stayed in touch all through the week. Her case may have had circumstances surrounding it that made it difficult for her. Maybe this monster of a so called Dad kept moving so she could not find him. It is hard to know. What I do know is that a child is innocent and vulnerable and when you have them it is your job as a parent to provide for them and protect them, not to treat them like this. I keep thinking this child looked in the face of the one that should love him more than life as he beat him and stuck cigarettes to his face. To think of the pain he endured is unimaginable to me. If you have a child, please take care of them! They did not ask to be brought into this world and it is your job as a parent to keep them safe as long as you can.

  • Gina

    There is too much of this going on. I think that all homeschooled children should be required to either attend an afterschool program or a mandatory reporter at least every six months. If the family hasn’t seen a child in more than a few months, they need to not just complain but YELL long and loud until someone in authority outside the house lays eyes on that child and determines their well being. Yes, it’s intrusive, but if you have done nothing wrong; then you have nothing to fear. The safety and well being of children override everything.

    Homeschooling is how kids get dropped from notice. (I’m NOT saying all homeschooling is bad, quite the contrary, but it does make it easier for things like this to happen).

    Poor little guy. This NEVER should have happened. This “father” needs to be put UNDER the jail and “homeschooled” until he dies.

    *grumble…an example of people who have kids and shouldn’t, while people who should, can’t)

  • Heather Woods

    This isn’t true to all the ugly comments above and for the record Ashley the mother left the boys never contact tommy or Amanda bout the boys! Unless you know these two you shouldn’t slander them there is way more to the story than what is being told on the news I am one aunt two Tyler and I will miss him forever but his parents Amanda and tommy would never harm any child! Please don’t comment unless you know the situation!

    • The truth

      @ heather woods you need to sit down and shut the heck up bc guess what they did it. Guess what your wrong about Ashley she didn’t give up the boys she tried to see them she did try to call so you can go on somewhere with that mess. Ashely is a great momma and you need to get your facts straight before you go saying she didnt want her boys Mkay, because you are obviously crazy of you think she didnt want her kids, she loves them.

    • Catrice

      I was there nanny for 6 years and I considered them my babies, still do. I know part of the info that went on wit JT and Tyler and Ashley. I knew about the restraining order that was put on her and why it was put on her. Somewhere down the line I think Amanda gave up hope. I do know she tried her best and was trampled every time. I am not judging Ashley, or Amanda because as a mother it is hard. Amanda had to deal with enough stuff with Tommy constantly cheating, not wanting to help most of the time and They did not move around alot. Their number was the same. I am still deeply saddened by the situation and I just want to know if they are having a burial. If so can someone please let me know so I can say goodbye to him. You have no idea how bad this is tearing everyone up. Just offer your condolences and argue else where. The family needs peace.

  • Patricia Hamlyn

    Why are the bonds not $ 1 Million each? What happened with the other family members not reporting this isolation to the authorities? One phone call could have stopped this. If I were this child’s mother, grandmother, relative period, there is NOTHING that would have stopped me from getting to this little boy. WHY??

  • Tony

    Jail would be too nice for these too monsters. They deserve to be brutally beaten and tortured. Anyone who treats a child or even a human being in this way has to regard for human life. In return, should be treated with the same inhumanity as they have shown. You simple minded people sit here and put in your two cents and point the finger trying to determine what someone should have done in this type of scenario. Unfortunately the reality of this situation is that this happens all too often in our society, however, if the punishment for such a crime resulted in automatic death there would be much less of these types of horrific crimes. The real crime here is putting trailer trash like that in a federal institution where I have to pay to house them each year for the rest of their lives. I’m quite certain that anybody blogging will agree with me, that there is no rehabilitation that will every fix this type of evil mentality that clearly runs dominantly through their veins. Best to destroy it, before another child is robbed of their innocence.

  • Concerned

    I, too, have battled Mississippi’s DHS system, fighting for my grandson. His mother is a drug abuser. She is very convincing at how she is going to change when she is caught. Everytime she is off the hook, she goes back to her drugs…even at the
    risk of no money to feed her child. The last time we called DHS, they told her everything we said!! Not supposed to do that? Yeah, I know; but do you think they do anything about it? No!! The goal of DHS is to reunite the family. If they can clean the parent up long enough to pass their tests, the child goes back home. Yes we have called several times since, and nothing is done. The school calls us because Mom is never available; usually passed out…and nothing is done for the child. He is grounded from us as punishment when he misbehaves, etc. A sad situation. All we can do is pray. BTW, for others in a similar situation and can’t afford an attorney, look for free legal aide..it is out there!!

  • Becky

    No one to hug and kiss him and tell him he’s loved, no one to protect him. There is no telling how long this went on. ** I am trying to get in touch with anyone that reported this family to either dhs or the police dept. I pray that the evidence and court system are enough to take care of,the accused monsters, nothing legally would provide the justice Tyler deserves. I also have heard of several people that requested dhs and/or the police on this family and nothing was done. I know of an investigative reporter that would like to get involved, please help!!? If you respond I’ll get you her name and email address. Please!

  • New them both

    First let me say, let’s not pass judgement until the autopsy has been completed. I used two know both Tommy and Amanda very well. The biological mother is not all what see is displaying. The poor isolated parent so innocent and loving. Because she’s not. She lost custody for a reason and she knows why. When I new Amanda and tommy they wee both very caring and loving people. I’ve personally seen Amanda with her first two children and as a single mom she was absolutely loving, adoring and attentive. Tommy on the other hand I knew one on one. He was never abusive an matter of fact helped me out of an abusive relationship. We don’t know all the facts yet. I will wait till everything has been completed before I cast stones. From the looks at Amanda drugs may have been a factor which is know excuse.

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