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Autopsy: Teen tied to tree died of dehydration

Posted December 22, 2008

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— A 13-year-old Edgecombe County boy who was left tied to a tree for 18 hours last June died of dehydration and heat stroke, according to an autopsy report released Monday.

Tyler McMillan's parent found him unresponsive on June 12 after he had been left tied to a tree overnight as punishment, authorities said. He was pronounced dead at Heritage Hospital.

Prosecutors have charged his father and stepmother, Brice Brian McMillan, 41, and Sandra Elizabeth McMillan, 36, both of 1110 Felton Farm Road in Macclesfield, with murder and felony child abuse.

Brice McMillan told deputies that he twice tied his son to a tree as punishment for disobedience and that the boy was left outside overnight on the second occasion, authorities said.

A woman and a man who called 911 seeking help for the boy didn't answer a dispatcher when asked what the teen was doing before he stopped breathing.

Tyler McMillan had a body temperature of 105.6 degrees Fahrenheit when he was taken to the hospital, according to the autopsy report. Tests done after his death also showed a pattern of dehydration, the report states.

The boy had insect bites over his arms and legs and marks on his wrists and ankles that were consistent with plastic ties, according to the autopsy report. He also had bruises on his buttocks and legs that appeared to have been caused by a rod-like instrument, the report states.


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  • Hasbeen Dec 23, 2008

    Maybe we should take away the propensity of people to be able to vote freely for whomever they want. New Constitutional ammendment. "All propensities shall now be unconstitutional, among those the right to vote for who you want"

    Obviously, people like the way democrats spend money. duh

  • Sleepy20_98 Dec 23, 2008

    A lot of things about this are disturbing but none for me more than the fact they left him tied to a tree outside overnight while they were inside sleeping? Are you kidding me, besides the fact this poor boy died a painfully slow death, anything could have happened that previous night, outside alone, while his parents are sound asleep in their comfortable beds! Wow, you never truly know someone, EVER!

  • pebbles262004 Dec 23, 2008

    This was such a sad thing to hear. I hope that his so called dad and stepmother get what they deserve. I am sure they will get something but not what thye really need. What they need is tying to a tree right by a swamp or river right in the middle of july or sugust and left there with no trees around it either. I could not ever even imagine hurting one ogf my children and would kill someone if they hurt them.

  • TheAdmiral Dec 23, 2008

    Sounds to me like intentional first degree homicide of a teen. Torture of first degree. Child neglect first degree. Child abuse first degree.

    And a few other things too.

  • rvwillie1 Dec 23, 2008

    I commend WRAL for having the courage to question the gag order in this case and fight to give young Tyler a voice for justice. There is never a good time to report a story as sad as Tylers. Only by following Tyler's tragic story can we ensure that the "parents" who so maliciously took Tyler's young life are brought to justice and do not escape proper punishment for their acts - We can not let them be in a position to do this to another child. It is when we as a community bury our head in the sand, look the other way and fail to ask questions that such heinous acts committed upon our innocent children go unpunished. Let us not let another six months go by before we as a community demand more answers and justice for Tyler. My prayers are with Tyler's surviving siblings and family.

  • Mercenary Dragon Dec 23, 2008

    I just wonder why it has taken this long for the autopsy report to surface... I mean this happened six months ago. As for the "parents", they should be taken out to the swamp in the middle of the August and tied to a tree as punishment.. eye for an eye... with interest

  • UR1-N-ONLY Dec 23, 2008

    I agree with just about everyone. Killing these cruel people isn't going to bring Tyler back. They r going to suffer in due time. Tyler's in a better place! I read that his mommy died a few years back maybe he's with her receiving all the love now that he should of been receiving before these mean hateful people took his innocent life. I also agree with one of the other poster that where their going is alot hotter than 105.6 degrees. May God bless the rest of his family and have mercy on the souls of "his so call parents" Merry christmas

  • carolyncranmore Dec 22, 2008

    OOPS! Let me clarify what I meant...Of course, I realize that this is not reflective on most men, but I have known many men that allowed abuse, and abused themselves, because of the step-mother. No other man could make me abuse my child, and I'd kill him if I thought HE was abusing my child. How could a parent not think and feel like this? I am married, and my children are adults now, but I can not EVER imagine choosing a man over my kids. How? Why? I just do not understand. It makes me so sad, and SO ANGRY, at the same time.

  • carolyncranmore Dec 22, 2008

    So sad. Apparently, yet another man whose interests laid elsewhere other than with his own son. Wake up parents! No other thing is more important than your child. Not another woman, or a man, should take importance over the life of your child! To tie him to a tree in such agony and pain, with insects stinging all over his body, and no water or relief from the heat! Tie the father to the "STEP-THING", carry out to an ant hill, throw them down, and watch the fun! I am so sorry for what the children went through. I agree with the comment earlier that said that someone must have known something! How could this happen?????

  • discowhale Dec 22, 2008

    I did comment on the story, I said give the boys parents death by injection.

    My other comment has to do with the continuing propensity of the voters here to elect DEMOCRATS, who squander money like drunken sailors, on frivolous projects, and then it takes an inordinate amount of time for something like an autopsy report to come from the state.

    And before you you go off on me about something else, I WAS a sailor, so I saw how drunken sailors spent.