exposing the dark side of adoption
Register Log in

Cameron woman accused of starving, beating her children


By Nancy McCleary

Staff writer

LILLINGTON - A Cameron woman has been charged with abusing three of her five children by starving them, beating them and locking them in a tool box, authorities said.

Leslie Tiesler, 37, of the 800 block of Calvary Church Road, was arrested Oct. 16 and charged with three counts of abuse, according to a release from the Harnett County Sheriff's Office. Bail was set at $1 million.

Authorities began investigating in May after the Harnett County Department of Social Services filed a report with the Sheriff's Office about possible abuse after receiving a complaint from a resident, the release said. When Social Services looked into the complaint, workers suspected that three of the five children living at the residence were being abused. Four of the children are adopted; one is Tiesler's biological child.

Officers searched the home on May 25 and seized several unidentified items, the release said.

Three of the adopted children - a 14-year-old and two 13-year-olds - told lawmen they were starved, beaten with a wooden spoon, locked in rooms and in a tool box, the release said. The three told investigators that the other two children participated in the abuse against them.

Within 45 days after Social Services removed the children from the home, one child gained 27 pounds, another child gained 20 pounds and the third, 10 pounds, the release said.

Investigators said they believe the abuse was carried out over a 14-month period while Tiesler's husband, Brad Thill, was working overseas, according to the release.

Thill was arrested Monday afternoon and charged with three counts of misdemeanor child abuse. He was released on $5,000 bail.

Staff writer Caitlin Dineen contributed to this report.

Staff writer Nancy McCleary can be reached at mcclearyn@fayobserver.com or 486-3568.

2012 Oct 23