HORN LAKE, Miss. - The father and stepmother of Tyler Raines, an 11-year-old boy who weighed 56 pounds when he was found dead last week, are facing charges of capital murder, felony child abuse and neglect, authorities said Wednesday.
Horn Lake Police and the DeSoto County District Attorney's Office said Jack Thomas Raines, 37, and Amanda Leigh Raines, 33, were arrested Tuesday at a Super 8 motel in Hernando. Each was booked into the DeSoto County Jail with bond set at $250,000 apiece, The Commercial Appeal reports.
"Our investigators worked around the clock because we all have children and when children are involved, it hits home," Horn Lake Police Lt. Scott Evans said at a news conference, during which authorities described finding a malnourished boy weighing just 56 pounds in the bathroom of the Raines' home last Thursday.
"I can speak personally. Shock, horror. I don't think anybody that saw that child will ever be left unaffected," Assistant District Attorney Steven Jubera said about the state of the boy's body, WMC-TV reports.
Jubera said investigators have received the preliminary autopsy report but said he could not discuss details of it because of the ongoing investigation and because the suspects have not been indicted by the grand jury.
He did say the boy had "multiple" siblings who were taken into protective custody by the Department of Human Services.
Tyler's step-aunt, Rebecca Gaines of Chattanooga, Tenn., said she was happy to hear about the arrests in the case. She said she plans to attend her nephew's funeral scheduled Friday at the Hernando Funeral Home in Hernando.
Gaines said her family members saw the child's body at the funeral home and were having trouble forgetting those images.
"She told me that it looked like he had two black eyes, and she said it looked like he had cigarette burns on his face, and she said his arms looked like they had been branded," Gaines said.