A 14-year-old boy, M., and his three adopted siblings, were abused by their adoptive mother, Patricia Hyler. The children’s adoptive father, Tommy Hyler, worked long hours outside the home and was not charged in connection with the abuse. The children were homeschooled.
Hyler adopted M. around 2012. She worked as a teacher at a church daycare center and at a school for disabled children. In April 2018, she began abusing the children and shortly afterwards pulled all four out of school to homeschool them. She beat all four children with various implements. Hyler singled out M. for abuse, reportedly because she didn’t like redheads. She chipped his teeth with pliers, starved him so that his siblings had to sneak him food, strangled him, stabbed him with knives, forced him to sleep on a dirty concrete floor, and wouldn’t let him bathe but forced him to stand naked outside while she sprayed him with a hose. The abuse always took place after her husband had left for work, and Hyler threatened to hunt the children down and kill them if they ever told anyone, including the child services workers who conducted several welfare checks in the home. Two adults who had grown up as adoptees in Hyler’s home also reported similar abuse.
The abuse came to light when one of the other children texted a witness about it, and the witness reported it to the authorities. Hyler was charged with aggravated child abuse and the children were removed from the home.
Date: May 8, 2020
Location: Pace, Florida