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911 call released in 13-year-old's death

Posted June 17, 2008

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— Callers to 911 seeking help for a 13-year-old boy who authorities have said was tied to a tree for two nights did not answer a dispatcher when asked what the teen was doing before he stopped breathing.

That's according to a 911 call released Tuesday that begins with a woman telling the dispatcher: "Our little boy stopped breathing."

The dispatcher repeatedly asks the woman, and later a man, what the child had been doing before he stopped breathing. Neither responded. The man said the boy did not have any medical problems.

Tyler McMillan later died at a local hospital.

Prosecutors have charged his parents – Brice Brian McMillan, 41, and Sandra Elizabeth McMillan, 36, with murder and felony child abuse.

Brice McMillan told Edgecombe County deputies he tied his son to a tree last Tuesday as a punishment for disobedience, Sheriff James Knight said.

He untied him Wednesday morning and then tied him for a second time Wednesday night when the boy started misbehaving again. Sandra McMillan, the boy's stepmother, found him unconscious at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

According to arrest warrants read during their first court appearance on Monday, Tyler had bruises on his wrists, cuts on his body and flesh missing from his buttocks.

Authorities have said his wrists and ankles were bound with plastic wrap and that he was also tied to the tree with some other material.

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  • Newsjunkie Jun 18, 2008

    I'm curious too as to the autopsy results which I hope will be posted here (WRAL.com). First Lynn Paddock and now right on the heels of that horrendous case comes this one ..sad, sad, sad.

  • VivaceConBrio Jun 18, 2008

    Tyler's suffering has ended. He is now carried by the loving arms of Christ and is at peace. It was the Lord's will to take him home, to end his suffering. May God bless his siblings, as they remember what happened. They are the ones that will live with it every day. May they find peace and solace in knowing that Tyler isn’t in any pain any more.

    Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.

    In all ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

    None of us will ever know what took place in that house. I hope that the two siblings will now find a loving home, and put their misery behind them. God bless them and keep them.

  • shellbelle Jun 18, 2008

    "Tyler had bruises on his wrists, cuts on his body and flesh missing from his buttocks."

    There's gotta be so much more to the story here. This was probably the last act in a long and torturous existence for the poor boy... if they thought that was proper punishment, no telling what else was done as 'punishment'.

  • ooooooooooooooooo Jun 17, 2008

    Did anyone see those huge ants crawling up and down the tree on
    WRAL's video? Uuuuh!! Understand they were fire ants. That could be what happened to his back side and he rubbed against the tree to scratch and try to stop the pain. Also understand they found Satanic items in the house. SAD! SAD! We all know he is now in a better place. Bless his soul! They do deserve every bit of punishment they get in prison and after their trial.

  • NCTeacher Jun 17, 2008

    This story is just completely heartwrenching for me. I could write everything I hope happens to those parents, but WRAL would probably ban me for life. Suffice it to say that I hope they get what they deserve while they rot away in prison.

  • something2say Jun 17, 2008

    For some reason this story reminds me of the book "A Boy Called It" written by a man who grew up in an abusive home. He was abused and ignored for years before someone finally noticed. I bet this tree tieing incident is just the tip of the iceberg! This child was probably abused and neglected in ways we could never imagine (I mean, really who would think to tie a child to a tree overnight???)

    I hope this is a wake up to anyone who suspects child abuse or neglect! Report it, it is better to have things checked out than to have a child die and think "I thought something might be wrong in that household".

    I will be surprised if someone doesn't come forward with eyewitness accounts of evidence of abuse and/or neglect!

  • chance Jun 17, 2008

    **SLIP KID**
    Not only was it close to 100 degrees, there was a Code Red Alert for air quality due to the wild fire in Eastern Carolina. IT WAS CLOSE TO 100 DEGREES OUT THAT DAY AND THE AIR WAS TOXIC!!!

  • seankelly15 Jun 17, 2008

    TheAdmiral - Stories about murders are covered by the media; it has not stopped anyone from getting a fair trial.

    "...it also ruins the ability of the police to hold a fair trial." See, now this is part of the problem - the police do not try anyone.

    Finally, why would you think that media coverage would lead to the "...these two murders [sic] will walk freely away from this tragedy."

  • Slip Kid Jun 17, 2008

    Wasn't it 100 degrees last week? These so-called parents should be put away for a long, long time.

  • RetGr6 Jun 17, 2008

    Hey, Admiral - If you stopped watching TV, how do you know what WRAL or any other station is reporting? Just curious.

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