Ex-wife of Griffin man sheds light on child abuse allegations

Ex-wife of Griffin man sheds light on child abuse allegations
Published: May. 17, 2023 at 7:58 PM EDT|Updated: May. 18, 2023 at 11:07 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GRIFFIN, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Tyler and Krista Shindley are in jail facing charges of attempted malice murder and child cruelty after police found their 10-year-old boy weighing just 36 pounds.

According to the arrest warrants, the boy was confined in his home and was not given food, water, and light for extended periods of time.

“This case is disturbing. It’s heartbreaking,” said Spalding County District Attorney Marie Broder.

“I’ve tried many child abuse cases in my career. And this child, simply put, was being starved to death and it’s tragic,” said Broder, during a press conference on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Atlanta News First was able to reach Tyler Schindley’s ex-wife, Melissa Waynette, who shed light on the child abuse allegations facing her former husband.

Waynette said the 10-year-old boy allegedly abused was not hers, but said that two of her children lived in Griffin with Tyler and Krista until very recently.

RELATED: Police release 911 call revealing moment Griffin neighbor finds 36-pound child

One of her boys escaped two years ago and tracked down Waynette through social media.

Waynette, who lives in Ohio, explained the second boy was returned to her two months ago.

“They [Tyler and Krista Schindley] just called me one day and said pick him up at the airport tonight and sent him with nothing,” said Waynette, in an interview with Atlanta News First on Wednesday.

“So, I don’t really know why the decision was made to send him away. My older son ran away from home when he was 17 and was able to find me through social media,” Waynette said.

Waynette said she tried to report previous incidences of child abuse in Griffin to the kids she shared with Tyler Schindley.

She said that Schindley did not show signs of abuse to their kids when she was married to him.

“I do know that it’s not the character of the person I was with – with him. Definitely, not anything I saw when I was with him. But I do think this has been a slow progression over many, many years,” said Waynette.

Waynette said Tyler and Krista moved to Georgia roughly 10 years ago.

Waynette said the son who returned to her two months ago is doing better since leaving Griffin.

“They withheld a lot of treatment that he probably needed. Now he’s super happy and he even said the other day he wishes he could forget life there. But he’s doing very well, very happy,” explained Waynette.

In the 911 call, acquired by Atlanta News First, a neighbor found the 10-year-old boy on Friday morning wandering in the street.

“I just had a child walk past my house, alone. A small child” said the neighbor in the 911 call.

RELATED: Griffin couple allegedly starved, imprisoned and abused 10-year-old son

“And we went out to see if everything is okay. And he’s asking us not to tell his parents. I don’t know who his parents are, but he’s asking to please not take him home,” said the woman.

According to the radio log, police arrived 10 minutes later.

The boy was taken to a nearby hospital where officials said he’s recovering.

Investigators said Tyler Schindley turned himself in at police headquarters later on Friday.

Krista Schindley was also arrested on Friday.

Waynette said she’s grateful all of the kids involved are safe.

“There’s a relief. But also regret that my children have to live with this stigma and having to revisit and it’s a lot for them,” Waynette said. “It’s a lot for the kids right now. But there is a relief that my kids are safe. I know all the kids are safe. I hate that it had to get this far.”

A judge denied bond for both parents. They’re currently in the Spalding County Jail.