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Chief Medical Examiner: Mother strangled son, self before Rolesville fire

Posted February 24

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— Medical officials have determined Kristy Bryan and her son, Tyler W. Bryan, 3, who were found dead in their Rolesville home on Dec. 11, died of strangulation.

In January, police determined that the case was a murder-suicide, and the autopsy did not change that conclusion.

Autopsies on the pair, released Tuesday, indicate both suffered "ligature strangulation and thermal injuries." They were found side-by-side in bed at their 6205 Roles Saddle Drive home.

A white-tan, plastic ligature consisting of interlocking zip-ties were found encircled around the neck of Tyler Bryan; melted plastic pieces were found on the left and right lateral neck of Kristy Bryan, according to the autopsy report.

A gas can was found in the home, and the investigation revealed the fire started in the master bedroom and was a result of an intentional spread from an ignitable fluid, according to a press release.

"There is no indication of forced entry or struggle in the home. The arson investigators concluded, based on the evidence, that the fire was started by Mrs. Bryan," the release said.

According to an unsealed search warrant, authorities found pills, zip ties, the end of a lighter and computer equipment inside of the home.

"Unfortunately, in these situations, there are often questions we can't answer," said Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman. "We have to rely on evidence as it is ... at this point, we are confident with the conclusion we have come to.”

Another child, age 6, lived in the home but had left for school before the fire started. Tyler Bryan’s twin brother was taken to UNC Hospitals.

20 Comments

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  • Brewster Jackson Feb 28, 2016
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    Talk to a psychiatrist, no one can truly understand what is going through the mind of a menatlly ill person. Many can convince someone that one minute they are normal and sane. You are not able to tell what is beneath the surface.

    Tragedy is a continual in our lives, you will never be able to create a tragedy averse society.

    But it does give some people the ability to post and comment without compassion.

    Prayers for the family, and especially the surviving children.

  • Chance Loria Feb 26, 2016
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    Yashi, do you EVER post anything that does not criticize somebody? Wait ... Let me answer that .. NO, YOU DO NOT!!! Getting so sick of reading your posts. You just sit and wait for somebody you can pounce on and then try to act all self righteous. That's usually referred to as bullying.

  • Janice Wilder Feb 25, 2016
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    Please note this is not the same Dan Wilder who lives in the family's neighborhood. We truly sympathize for this family's tragedy. Please pray for this husband, father and the 2 small children that are suffering from this tremendous loss.

  • Jennifer Allen Feb 25, 2016
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    Unfortunately that is untrue.

    I just don't understand why it seems to be OK with everyone that this woman killed her own child in such a violent manner. Seems like everyone is excusing it because she had some kind of mental illness. I don't get the excuse, someone should have seen it (where is the father here?).

  • Raleigh Rose Feb 25, 2016
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    That's the thing about mental illness-depending on what exactly was going on in this woman's head, I doubt her thought process would be logical to anyone but her. We need to make mental healthcare more readily available and stop the stereotypes that if you need mental healthcare you are somehow weak or didn't try hard enough. If you've never had to deal with mental illness or watch a family member or loved one go through it count yourself very lucky. The stigma that it carries does nothing but harm. My heart goes out to the family dealing with this tragedy. I hope at some point they can find peace.

  • Kristin Byrne Feb 25, 2016
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    No one said it was an excuse, only an explanation.

  • Lori Coble Feb 25, 2016
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    Very well stated Yashi. No one will ever know what was going on in her mind and why she did what she did but it's not up to us to judge; I only wish that she would have gotten some help before it came to this. My prayers go out to the remaining family

  • Lesley Fitzgerald Feb 25, 2016
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    This case does not sit well with me.....it just does not make sense. As a mom and thinking along the lines of someone who would do such a horrific thing.... why would you send one kid to school? then strangle the other two but have one in a crib and the other in the bed with you?? It just does not sit right with me, I think there is more to the story. You would think she would keep all kids together with her for the end.

  • Dan Wilder Feb 25, 2016
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    Zip ties are one way, once you pull them tight , they will not release or loosen, you would have to cut it to get it to loosen

  • Sara Hauser Feb 24, 2016
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    Wow, Jennifer -why don't you tell us how you really feel?? "Mental illness is just as good an excuse as any" / you don't understand "people like this". You obviously have never seen someone struggle with mental health issues. I hope you never do.

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