Woman Accused Of Starving, Torturing Boyfriend's 8-Year-Old Son & Videotaping Abuse

Prosecutors allege that Alex Shadlow and Traci Tyler locked the boy in a room under the stairs for nine hours a day in the summer of 2017.

February 07, 2019

Alex Shadlow, Traci Tyler [Hardin County Jail]

Alex Shadlow, Traci Tyler [Hardin County Jail]

By: Catherine Townsend

ACKLEY, IA — Horrific new details have emerged in the court case of an Iowa woman who is accused of helping torture her boyfriend's eight-year-old son and videotaping the abuse.

Prosecutor Tyler Buller told the judge that 40-year-old Traci Tyler can be seen on tape watching the boy until "he eventually loses control of his bodily function and urinates."

She and the boy's father, 30-year-old Alex Craig Shadlow, were charged with kidnapping after the boy was "subjected to physical and mental torture" in the basement of the couple's Ackley home.

Prosecutors allege that Tyler and Shadlow locked the boy in a room under the stairs for nine hours a day in the summer of 2017. The couple withheld food from the boy and locked the kitchen door to limit the boy's access to food.

In court, one teacher said he looked "like a skeleton" when he arrived for the first day of third grade, according to the Des Moines Register.

The boy, who is now in fourth grade, told authorities that the couple restricted his food intake, made him sleep on concrete, and forced him to use a tin cup for a toilet. He stated in court that Tyler hit him with the wire handle of a flyswatter, which police said left him with permanent scarring on his back and limbs.

The boy also explained that the pair blocked the basement exit with a board so that he could not get out — which left him locked in a dark box. One officer referred to the room the boy was locked in as a "dungeon."

Tyler also urged her dog to attack the boy. The animal attacks left scars on his body, according to court documents. He also reportedly suffers from post traumatic stress syndrome.

Court documents detail even further instances of abuse. The couple allegedly beat the boy, forced him to walk with rocks in his backpack, and on at least one instance, Tyler called him the "N-word," according to records.

Police responded to the residence after they got a call from a concerned neighbor.

Tyler's attorney claimed that Tyler was following the advice of medical professionals in requiring the boy to seek permission to use a bathroom due to the fact that he was having “accidents” at home – and claimed that there was “no intent” to cause injury.

If convicted, prosecutors say Tyler could face life in prison.

Shalow is being tried separately. He has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and is due in court on June 24.

Next Up

'House of Horrors' Child-Torture Turpins Sentenced To Life; Survivors Speak Out In Court

“My parents took my whole life from me, but now I'm taking my life back,” one daughter told the court.

Dad Charged With Intentionally Shooting 2-Year-Old Son In The Face With A Shotgun

Michael Glance acted “intentionally” during a fight with the boy's mom; the baby had “half his face” blown off and is in critical condition.

Texas Mom Gets 6 Years In Prison For Selling Son To Pay $2,500 Drug Debt

Esmeralda Garza also attempted to sell her two younger daughters, ages two and three.

Edge Of The Cliff: How An American Dream Turned Into A Nightmare For A Model Family

Jennifer and Sarah Hart were regarded by all who knew them as caring and devoted parents who had adopted two sets of three Black siblings and dedicated their lives to raising the six children in a socially conscious atmosphere that focused on love and acceptance.

Texas Couple Gets 60 Years In Prison For Filming Sex Abuse Of 'At Least' 25 Kids

Some of the victims were babies; the children's ages reportedly ranged from 8 months to 14 years old.

Texas Mom Allegedly Put Son Through 323 Hospital Visits, 13 Unnecessary Surgeries

Kaylene Bowen pleaded guilty to recklessly causing injury to her 8-year-old son.

Son Uses Lawn Mower To Run Over Dad Who Attacked Him With Chain Saw

The warring duo took their escalating feud to a whole new disturbing level.