A Wyoming man and woman are behind bars after police say they beat up a 12-year-old boy so severely that part of his skull had to be removed.
KTWO reports that Ryan Hilyard and Sarah Hilyard are facing attempted murder and related charges in connection with alleged brutal child abuse that occurred inside their home in Mills.
According to court documents, the victim, identified as Ryan Hilyard’s biological son and Sarah Hilyard’s stepson, was taken to a hospital by his stepmother in August. He was unresponsive and had to be intubated.
Brain scans performed at the hospital indicated that he had both brain swelling and bleeding, which made his brain shift. He also had a retinal hemorrhage, respiratory failure, and a traumatic brain injury.
Sarah Hilyard reportedly told investigators that the boy fell down a flight of stairs. She allegedly claimed she didn’t know where all of his injuries came from but added that he had been getting into fights with his two younger brothers, ages 9 and 10.
Ryan Hilyard backed his wife’s story up. He said although he didn’t actually see his son fall from the stairs, but was taking his “best guess.”
Investigators searched the couple’s home afterward and noticed someone cleaned up vomit recently from the victim’s room and left soil clothing unwashed.
“The kitchen had locks on the cupboards with food,” a detective wrote. “The fridge/freezer combo had locks on the fridge and freezer.”
Sarah Hilyard’s story began shifting and she ultimately admitted she may have thrown her arm at him as he was running stairs for punishment. She then reportedly claimed it took her four days to bring the boy in for medical care because she thought he was getting better.
When investigators interviewed the other children in the home, one of the boys told detectives that he was instructed to say that his older step-brother fell down the stairs. The child said he was scared of his father after Ryan Hilyard picked him up by the throat. In another instance, the boy said, Ryan Hilyard allegedly pushed his face into stuffed animals for several minutes, making it difficult to breathe.
The younger boy then said Ryan Hilyard had punched and dragged his step-brother up the stairs before ultimately pushing the boy down the stairs. The boy reportedly said when the victim fell down the stairs, it seemed as if he “had no bones.”
“So beat up, he was crawling and then, so then they pushed him. His head hit the edge of the bottom stairs, and he stood up and fell back down.”
Both Ryan and Sarah Hilyard allegedly started punching and kicking the boy as he laid on the floor at the bottom of the stairs.
“Stop faking it, get up,” the pair reportedly said to the victim.
All of the children, according to investigators, dug in the trash at school for food. They were also reportedly told never to see the school nurse. One of the children reported that the parents would find anything to get upset about and that they were constantly in trouble.
When the 12-year-old boy begged for food and water, a recorded video allegedly showed Sarah Hilyard taunting him and saying he had a “f—ed up little brain.”
The children were removed from the parents’ custody by social services.
Both suspects remain behind bars. They’re both facing attempted second-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and child abuse. Mugshots for the pair are currently unavailable.
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[Feature Photo: Pixabay]