ELDORA -- A 9-year-old boy, sometimes clutching a stuffed dog, quietly told a Hardin County District Court judge Wednesday about his treatment by his dad's girlfriend in a home in Ackley, including beatings, being forced to stand for hours and being locked in a basement room with no lights.

The boy, who turns 10 next month, was the day's first witness in the first-degree kidnapping and child endangerment trial of Traci Lynn Tyler, 40, of Ackley. Tyler faces life in prison if convicted in the case.

The boy, wearing a red flannel shirt and blue jeans, rocked in the witness chair and frequently turned to Judge James Ellefson and told him of his treatment in a house in Ackley where he lived in 2017 with his dad, Alex Shadlow, 30, and Tyler.

Shadlow also is charged in the case, but will be tried later.

Tyler looked on at the boy during this testimony but showed no emotion. The boy occasionally looked at her as well, but also kept his composure.

He said he was forced to pick up rocks and put them in a backpack and wear it around the house, told to stand in in a dining room of the home and not sit down, told he couldn't go to the bathroom without permission and wet his pants a couple of times when he wasn't given permission.

He said he slept in a bedroom for a time and then was told he was acting up and made to sleep in a locked cement enclosure in the basement. At first he was allowed a box spring to sleep on but that was taken away as well.

He escaped at first through an opening at the top of the door, but then was caught searching for food.

The boy described being hungry and "super cold" in the basement room. He was afraid because Tyler had told him that a dead dog was buried in the room with him. He said he slept sitting up with his arms around his legs to try to keep warm.

The boy will be cross examined by Tyler's attorneys.


ELDORA -- A 9-year-old boy is expected to take the stand Wednesday morning to tell about his time being confined in the basement of his home by his father and the father's girlfriend.

Earlier, Judge James Ellefson ruled the boy's testimony could not be by closed-circuit television. Prosecutors had sought his not appearing in person due to the possible trauma the boy could face testifying against Traci Tyler, 40, of Ackley, who is standing trial this week on a charge of first-degree kidnapping and child endangerment.

The boy is not being named by The Courier due to his age.

Tyler and her boyfriend, Alex C. Shadlow, 30, are both charged in the case and being tried separately. Shadlow is expected to go on trial in June.

The two are accused of making the boy sleep in a locked enclosure under the basement steps for a period of a couple of months in 2017 as punishment, and starving him.

When officials went to the home, Tyler led them to the confined enclosure under the stairs in the basement.

The case is a bench trial being heard and decided by judge Ellefson. There is no jury.

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Editor at The Courier

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