Macclesfield, NC: Tyler Gene McMillan was reportedly 13 years old when he died. On June 11, 2008, his father, Brice Brian McMillan, 41, tied Tyler to a tree, with his hands and feet restrained with zipties, because Tyler was "being disobedient". McMillan left him outside and restrained until the following morning, when Tyler was released. In the afternoon of June 12, Tyler was again restrained and tied to the tree, and left there for as long as 24 hours.
Edgecombe County Sheriff James L. Knight told the News Observer that although the teen was found tied with plastic ties that were similar to handcuffs, that "there were other things on the body that led us to believe" the parents had used other restraints as well.
Late in the aftenoon of June 13, his stepmother, Sandra Elizabeth McMillan, 36, found Tyler unconscious. According to the local paper, "Temperatures in the area rose to above 90 degrees on Thursday afternoon, with a low of 73." According to another local report, Tyler was tied up "while the area was blanketed in dense, acrid smoke from the Pocosin Lakes wildfire to the east. State officials had warned residents to stay indoors because of the smoke's health threat."
The crime took place in a relatively rural area, and Tyler reportedly was in the backyard, so it is perhaps not surprising that no passersby came to his aid.
Tyler's birth mother, Michelle "Mickey" Sasser McMillan, is reported to have died several years ago. In a news story at a local television station, WITN-TV, Mickey McMillan was remembered:
She once worked at WITN-TV and was a school teacher in Pitt County. Mickey is remembered as a delight to be around, always cheerful and a great mother. Those who knew Mickey well say she was loved and took great care of her family and co-workers.
Sandra Elizabeth McMillan was previously married to Dwayne "Scott" Wilburn of Rockledge, FL, who died in 2002 . There was a child from that marriage, Brynana Shay Wilburn.
Mr. and Mrs. McMillan have been charged with murder and felony child abuse. Two younger children in the house, ages 7 and 9, have been placed with child protective services. It is not clear from news reports if the two surviving children are Mickey McMillan's children or Sandra Elizabeth McMillan's.
GREENVILLE -- Tyler Gene McMillan, 13, passed away Thursday, June 12, 2008, at Heritage Hospital. The funeral service will be conducted Monday at 10:30 a.m. in Jarvis Memorial United Methodist Church. Burial will be beside his mother in the family cemetery.
Tyler was born and raised in Pitt County. He began his schooling at Greenville Christian Academy and then attended Trinity Christian School. He grew up attending Jarvis Memorial United Methodist Church. Tyler was active in many hobbies. He enjoyed reading, fishing, karate, being a Boy Scout and watching Professional Wrestling. He loved playing outdoors with his cousins.
He has gone to join his mother, Michelle (Mickie), who preceded him in death.
He is survived by his father, Brice B. McMillan and stepmother; brother, Ryan Wesley McMillan; stepsister, Bryanna; paternal grandparents, Sam and Vi McMillan; maternal grandparents, Carl and June Sasser and Dessa Forsythe; and a very large and loving extended family. The family will receive friends at Wilkerson Funeral Home Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations for an Educational Fund for his surviving brother in the name of Ryan Wesley McMillan may be sent to P. O. Box 2483, Winterville, NC 28590. Online condolences at StarNewsOnline.com