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Mother Expressed Concern Before Child’s Murder

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(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.


  • ?????

    This makes no sense.. How is it the house looked to be cleaned when police visited on a Wednesday when the reports say it was at 10am on Thursday

  • Sherri Rikard

    The news keep saying the child was “found dead” in the bathroom. If this is true, why was the police there in the first place? Did someone call them? If so, why were they called?

  • KET

    I’m left scratching my head here. I understand the mother was the non-custodial parent, but there’s too much unsaid here. No judge or jury could keep me from seeing my child if I was concerned about his safety. Exactly how long HAD it been since she had seen her son? There are too many “loving” family members being quoted in the press about how much they loved this child they hadn’t seen in years. Don’t get me wrong–the father and stepmother are the true villains here–but sounds like there were a lot of people who chose to stick their heads in the sand for way, way too long. It’s just heartbreaking.

    • Kay Young

      Ket, unless you have not gone through the system, you are clueless. Yes, I understand the mother exactly. You will be thrown in jail before you lay eyes on your child. Yes, it does happen parents keep the other parent away especially in abuse cases. It’s hard to believe but our court system is messed up. From a mom who is trying to keep in her children lives.

  • Kay

    All family members are at fault whether they laid a hand on him, call the police, tell them what’s going on and ask them to allow the police to check the child for abuse,they probably would have done it,
    Sad story and the so called father and stepmom need to be executed,

  • mr.matt

    if I couldn’t see my kid and no none else could either then dhs should be checking daily or weekly…at least monthly. the system is messed up and look at the results

  • Becky

    Poor little boy, no love or kisses from anyone, no telling how long this torture went on for him. ***I am trying to get in touch with anyone that was familiar with any of this family and reported to dhs or police. There is an investigative reporter that would like to do a story on this. There are three or four people that I heard had turned them in and nothing was ever done. Please respond, and I can send you her name and email.

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