Wyoming 12-year-old had part of his skull removed after being beaten brutally by father and stepmother
MILLS, WYOMING: A father and a stepmother tortured and beat their young son so terribly that part of his skull had to be amputated. After the alleged child abuse came to light, Ryan Hilyard and Sarah Hilyard were taken into custody and charged with attempted murder and related offenses. Court documents stated that Sarah took the unresponsive 12-year-old victim, whose name has not been revealed, to a local hospital in August. The child’s condition was critical and doctors had to intubate him at the time.
Brain scans were also performed on the child, which revealed that he had brain swelling as well as bleeding, resulting in a brain shift. Besides, the boy had suffered a retinal hemorrhage, respiratory failure, and a traumatic brain injury. When the stepmother was questioned by investigators, she reportedly told them the victim fell down a flight of stairs. Sarah also allegedly told investigators that she had no idea how her stepson suffered such serious injuries, but mentioned that he and his younger brothers -- who are nine and ten years old -- kept engaging in fights.
Ryan supported his wife’s claims and said though he did not see the victim falling down the stairs, he was taking his “best guess.” After interrogating the parents, officials searched their home in Mills and found that vomit had been cleaned up recently by someone in the victim’s room. They also saw soiled clothing. “The kitchen had locks on the cupboards with food. The fridge/freezer combo had locks on the fridge and freezer,” a detective stated in the documents.
Following the home search, Sarah began changing her story and eventually told investigators that she might have thrown her arm at the little boy as he was running stairs for punishment. The woman said that she did not initially take the boy for medical assistance as she believed he was getting better. The other kids in the home were also probed by the officials and one of them said his parents asked him to say his elder step-brother fell down the stairs. He stated that he was scared of Ryan ever since he picked him up by the throat. The younger boy also added that his father allegedly pushed his face into stuffed animals for several minutes that left him struggling to breathe.
In addition, the child mentioned how his elder brother was punched and dragged by his father, who then pushed him down the stairs. He said when his step-brother fell down, it appeared as if he “had no bones.” And when he was lying on the floor, both the parents allegedly punched and kicked him. “Stop faking it, get up,” Ryan and Sarah allegedly told the victim.
More harsh truths about the suspects also reportedly came to light, which included how kids had to search for food in the dustbin at school. A recording showed when the 12-year-old asked for food from his stepmother, she allegedly told him sarcastically that he had a “f—ed up little brain.”
After the incident, the kids have been removed from their home and put under the care of social services. Both Ryan and Sarah have been sent to jail as they face attempted second-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and child abuse.