How Could You? Hall of Shame-Leslie Tiesler and Brad Thill UPDATED

By on 10-22-2012 in Abuse in adoption, Brad Thill, How could you? Hall of Shame, Leslie Tiesler, North Carolina

How Could You? Hall of Shame-Leslie Tiesler and Brad Thill UPDATED

This will be an archive of heinous actions by those involved in child welfare, foster care and adoption. We forewarn you that these are deeply disturbing stories that may involve sex abuse, murder, kidnapping and other horrendous actions.

From Lillington, North Carolina, 37-year-old adoptive parent Leslie Tiesler ”was arrested [on October 16, 2012] and charged with three counts of child abuse. She is  jailed with bail set at $1 million. An attorney listed on jail records as  representing Tiesler did not return a call from The  Associated Press seeking comment.”

She has been accused of regularly starving, beating and locking up  her”three adopted her children in a room over more than a year while her ex-husband” was serving overseas in Afghanistan.

“Tiesler had four adopted and one biological child. A 14-year-old and two  13-year-olds who were adopted told officers they were starved, beaten with a  wooden spoon, and locked away in rooms.”

NC woman accused of starving, beating children

[Times-Union 10/22/12 by The Associated Press]

“Investigators with the sheriff’s office and the Department of Social Services began looking into the case after getting a report of possible child abuse in May.

Rollins said three of Tiesler’s adopted children complained they were starved, beaten with a wooden spoon, and locked in a room and a[large Stanley] tool box. The two other children allegedly participated in the cruel treatment of the three.”

“All five children were removed from the home by DSS officials and placed in foster care shortly after the complaint was filed. Rollins said the three alleged victims have gained significant weight since their removal.

The alleged abuse took place over a period of 14 months. Tiesler’s ex-husband, Brad Thill, was deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan at the time.

Thill was also arrested and charged of misdemeanor child abuse.

Thill was overseas for two and a half years and didn’t see the children until April 26, 2012. Thill is the adoptive father of all five children.

“I came home from Afghanistan and came home to this and I’m trying to put the pieces together myself,” said Thill to ABC11 before his arrest.

“He acknowledges that he did not do anything to get his children into that condition and that he was starting to take steps to help them when DSS in Harnett County got involved,” said Jason Wunsch, Thill’s attorney.

Meanwhile, Tiesler is charged with three counts of child abuse. Her bond was set at $1 million.

Thill’s bond was set at $5,000 bond.”

Sheriff: Woman beat and starved children

[ABC WTVD 10/22/12]

“The Harnett County Department of Social Services received the initial complaint of the children’s condition from a concerned citizen.

The sheriff’s office says three of Tiesler’s adopted children complained of being starved, beaten with a wooden spoon, locked in a room and placed in a Stanley tool box. The children also said that two of their siblings — one of whom was also adopted, the other was Tiesler’s biological child — participated in “cruel treatment” of the victims.

A next door neighbor describes what she saw.

“The younger boys seemed kind of withdrawn, depressed, kind of, they didn’t want to be around people,” Amanda Summers said.  “It just didn’t seem like they wanted to be around kids.”

The DSS removed the five children from the home shortly after the complaint and placed in foster care.

The sheriff’s office says the one child has gained 27 pounds, another has gained 20 pounds and a third has gained 10 pounds within 45 days of being removed from their home.

Tiesler is being held in the Harnett County Detention Center under a $1,000,000 secured bond.”

Harnett Co. children claim mother locked them in tool box

[NBC 17 10/22/12]

REFORM Puzzle Pieces

 Were these children homeschooled? The substantial weight gain indicates extreme starvation and one would hope that a school would have noticed this!

Update: First, some readers may have viewed a comment that no longer is there. The commenter asked for its removal and we complied. There were additional accusations in that comment that we can’t verify at this time. I hope to God that those accusations were untrue as they were more explosive than those already revealed. If true, we hope that the commenter takes these allegations to the local authorities.

“A Harnett County man facing child abuse charges says he was overseas when the alleged abuse occurred and had no knowledge of what was happening in the home.

Brad Thill, 38, of the 800 block of Calvary Church Road in Cameron, was arrested Monday and charged with three counts of misdemeanor child abuse. He was released on $5,000 bond, Harnett County Detention Center officials said.

His ex-wife, Leslie Tiesler, is accused of abusing three of her five children by starving them, beating them and locking them in a tool box, authorities said.

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

Thill discussed the charges this morning at his lawyer’s office in Lillington.

Jason Wunsch said the charges against his client are based on the belief that Thill did nothing to stop the alleged abuse.

Thill said he and Tiesler were married for seven years.

He said he is a former soldier who got out of the military in 2010 and began working for the Department of Defense. He said he and Tiesler were separated when he went overseas for work.

When he returned home in December 2010, they reconciled and Tiesler moved back into the home on Calvary Church Road, Thill said.

Thill said he was made aware of the abuse allegations by the Department of Social Services.

The Sheriff’s Office said 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. 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 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.

The Sheriff’s Office has said it believes the abuse was carried out over a 14-month period while Thill was working overseas.

Thill said today that he helped Social Services with its investigation. He said none of the children ever mentioned abuse to him.

He said he did notice that two of the children had lost a significant amount of weight. Thill said that when he asked his wife about it, she said one of them was forcing himself to vomit and they were staying up for days on end.

The children have been removed from the home and have since gained weight, the Sheriff’s Office said.”

Harnett County man charged with child abuse speaks out/span>

[Fay Observer 10/23/12 by Nancy McCleary]

In an interview Tuesday with WRAL News, Thill said he came home for a visit in December and said his boys appeared healthy and in good spirits. He even took them camping, he said. When he returned again in April, he saw a change.


“Immediately, I noticed that two of the children had lost a significant amount of weight, and my initial instinct was that they (have to) eat,” Thill said, adding that he loaded up on groceries and power bars to put weight on the children. “My ex-wife stated to me that one of the children was forcing himself to vomit up his food and he would not sleep for days on end.”


Thill said he did not notify the Harnett County Department of Social Services because he was “trying to find out from the kids what was going on in the house.”


“I did not know any of the abuse allegations until (the boys) were taken by DSS,” he said.


Tiesler has one biological son, and the couple adopted four boys in 2008. The couple divorced in March 2010, and Tiesler moved away with the children, according to Thill. They reconciled, and Thill allowed them to stay in the house on Calvary Church Road while he was deployed, he said.


Thill said he always remembered Tiesler as a good mother.


“I had never known anything to have changed from the entire time from when I had met her until I came home in April of this year and noticed something drastic going on,” he said. “Honestly, I don’t know what drove her to do it. I’ve confronted her, trying to find out what happened, and she would just not talk to me.”

Three of the adopted children, ages 13 and 14, told authorities they  were starved, shot with a BB gun, beaten with a wooden spoon, locked in a  room and forced into a Stanly tool chest for days with no food and only a  pipe inserted through a hole for air.


Harnett County Sheriff Larry Rollins says it’s the worst case of  child abuse he has ever seen and that it brought one of his detectives  to tears.


“One of the kids, particularly, it’s disturbing to look at the picture. It’s just skin and bone,” Rollins said.


The sheriff says Thill should have sought medical attention for the children or alerted authorities.


He saw and observed those kids during that week (in April). He was present in that home that week, and we’re saying it’s incumbent on you to do something,” Rollins said.


The story unfolded months ago, when the Harnett County DSS began investigating Tiesler based on a complaint from a  neighbor who was concerned about the condition of the children. Authorities said the two other children may have participated in the abuse.


Search warrants say the children were locked inside the tool chest for punishment and forced to sleep in a cardboard storage box. The warrants also say the boys were barricaded in a room for long periods of time, deprived of food. Investigators say Thill had been home a week before a neighbor called social services.”

“Thill said he is allowed limited visits with the boys, all of whom are in foster care. He said they appear to be healthy.”

Father arrested, accused of not reporting alleged child abuse

[WRAL 10/23/12]


Woman Charged With Starving 5 Children[WTBS] states that “The  four boys were two separate pair[sic] of brothers.”

“Sheriff Larry Rollins said Mrs. Tiesler allegedly locked three of the adopted  children in a room for long periods of time preventing them from eating. The  room was barricaded so the children couldn’t escape.  One child was also confined in a padlocked storage box for  several days at a time. Mrs. Tiesler’s natural son was also in the house but  was not locked up.  All of the alleged  abuse occurred over a 14-month period of time. ”

“One  neighbor said he had seen children at the home who appeared they had not eaten  in a long time. The children were punished when they tried to help themselves,  according to the sheriff. The few times they were able to get out of the house  they attempted to steal food from neighbors and were allegedly punished by Mrs.  Tiesler for doing so, Sheriff Rollins said.
All five boys reported being shot with a bb gun.  They were also beaten with a wooden spoon at times, according to  reports.
Mrs. Tiesler reported to school officials she was home-schooling the children  meaning they did not go to public schools.
The abuse was going on while Mrs. Tiesler’s husband was working as a contractor  in Afghanistan at the time the abuse occurred. All five boys are now in the  care of foster parents in undisclosed locations.
Sheriff Rollins said his investigators had a hard time dealing with the case.  “One detective told me they just went out in the yard and cried,” he said,  describing it as one of the most horrific crimes he has seen. “There is some  crazy crap going on out there,” he added.”

Update 2: “ Cameron man whose ex-wife has been accused of abusing their children for more than a year has been indicted on child abuse and neglect charges, authorities said Monday.

A Harnett County grand jury indicted Brad Thill, 38, last week on three counts each of child abuse and child neglect.

Thill has said he was working in Afghanistan for a defense contractor and had  no idea Leslie Tiesler was allegedly beating and starving three of their  five children at their home on Calvary Church Road.

Investigators say Tiesler, 37, routinely locked three of their boys  in a room and tool chest over a period of 14 months and denied them  food, leaving them emaciated. She was arrested Oct. 16, charged  with  three counts of child abuse.

Tiesler has one biological son, and the couple adopted four boys in 2008. The couple divorced in March 2010, and Tiesler moved away with the children, according to Thill. They reconciled, and Thill allowed them to stay in the house on Calvary Church Road while he was deployed, he said.

Three of the adopted children, ages 13 and 14, told authorities they  were starved, shot with a BB gun, beaten with a wooden spoon, locked in a  room and forced into a Stanley tool chest for days with no food and only a  pipe inserted through a hole for air.”

Harnett father charged with child abuse, neglect

[WRAL 11/12/12]

Update 3: “An attorney for a Harnett County woman accused of locking her adopted children in a tool box says the kids have a history of bad behavior and are lying about their accusations.

Leslie Tiesler, 37, of Cameron, was arrested Oct. 16 and charged with multiple counts of child abuse. The sheriff’s office says three of Tiesler’s adopted children complained of being starved, beaten with a wooden spoon, locked in a room and placed in a Stanley tool box.

The children also said that two of their siblings — one of whom was also adopted, the other was Tiesler’s biological child — participated in “cruel treatment” of the victims.

Tiesler’s attorney, however, said the children have a pattern of bad behavior and that they are not being truthful in the accusations.

The alleged abuse occurred over a 14-month period.

Tiesler’s ex-husband, Brad Thill, was also charged in the incident. Thill was charged with misdemeanor child abuse.

On Wednesday, Thill entered a not-guilty plea, and said he was working overseas as a defense contractor during the time that the alleged abuse occurred.

Thill returned home briefly in April, and Harnett County Sheriff Larry Rollins said, “It was obvious he was in the home and he should have done something to try and help those kids.”

Thill said he and Tiesler divorced three years ago, and she has since married David Tiesler.

David and Leslie have been separated since August 2012, and he has not been charged in connection with the abuse accusations.

David, along with a neighbor, requested that Leslie be released to their custody. The judge denied the request, and kept Leslie’s bond at $100,000.”

Attorney: Kids lied about being locked in tool box

[NBC 17 12/5/12]

Update 4:  A public search of Harnett county court records on December 17, 2012 reveals that  Brad has 3 separate case numbers each with 2 counts apiece for a total of 6. 6 counts is what I previously reported. His next hearing is 1/28/13. There are 3 Felony INT CHILD ABUSE-SER PHYS INJ which is Statute 14-318.4(A)  and 3 Felony NEG CHILD ABUSE-SER PHYS INJ which is Statute 14-318.4(A5) against him.

A public search of Harnett county court records on December 17, 2012 reveals that  Leslie has 3 separate case numbers. The first case number has 1 count of Felony INT CHILD ABUSE-SER BOD INJ which is Statute 14-318.4(A3) . The second case number has 1 count of Felony INT CHILD ABUSE-SER BOD INJ which also is Statute 14-318.4(A3). The third case number has 1 count of Felony INT CHILD ABUSE-SER BOD INJ which also is Statute 14-318.4(A3). Total of 3 felony counts. Her next hearing is also on 1/28/13.

Update 5: A public search of Harnett county court records on April 3, 2013 reveals that Brad has a court date of April 22, 2013 for all 6 counts.

A public search of Harnett county court records on April 3, 2013 reveals that Leslie also has a court date of April 22, 2013 for all 3 counts.



  1. dont know all the facts but … you are going to be locked in a box now and are going to get a taste of what you have done to those children . It’s too bad they won’t starve you or prevent you from using the bathroom . To the soldier; you’re a discrace . The military teaches you to be a man and teaches you responsibilty… guess you did not learn either . The mother, well to the nasty woman who couldn’t handle the kids hope you get life and suffer like the kids are going to suffer from those memories that will haunt themfor the rest of their lives..

  2. “Officers searched the home May 25 and seized several unidentified items, the release said.”

    Any reports of these items, yet?

  3. I think the mother should be locked in a box and starved, but I do not believe the father had any kniwledge of what was really going on in that home. He did what he could to try and feed the children and get them healthy again. This is a horrible miscarriage of justice where the father is concerned! Another story of DHS and prosecutors being in cahoots and taking down everyone in their path. Brad Thill was GONE when this abuse was taking place. Anyone who believes he is guilty isn’t very smart.

  4. DHS left those boys in the home for 3 more weeks after the initial home visit where they saw the boys condition. That tells me they did not feel it was URGENT to remove them. If it took DHS 3 weeks to figure out how to handle the situation HOW in the world was Brad Thill to sort through the mess in 6-7 days after stepping off a plane from Afghanistan???? WHY is her current husband not being guestioned??? He certainly had to see the abuse until he left her.

    • Where did you get the information on the 3 weeks for removal? If true, DHS’ incompetence does not excuse *any* adult in the home from helping those kids. We have reported on cases in which children have DIED suspiciously and the other children were left in the home for months due to DHS/CPS incompetence.

      I also do not understand why the current husband isn’t also being charged. He had to have known what was going on.

      Thill admitted that he noticed that the children lost a significant amount of weight in the December beforehand and he did nothing then either. He said he was concerned in April but still did not take any action. That INaction is a big problem. The neighbor who also noticed the weight issue is the one who called CPS on them. Remember that the children’s conditions were described as “horrific” and that they were “skin and bones.” To not physically remove the kids from that situation (by Thill) or call for help from anyone is a big FAIL on the part of Thill.

      • It is a written fact that they were left in the home 3 weeks. Brad Thill walked into a situation he could not wrap his head around because of the mother telling him lies about the kids behavior and the kids not willing to risk further abuse from her for telling Dad what was going on. Her stories fell into the realm of possiblity with the boys history. Hind sight is always 20/20.The only thing Brad is quilty of is believing someone he loved and thought would NEVER do such horrific things to their children! He loves those boys. You have your facts wrong. He did not notice weight loss in December…he saw it when he came home in May. DSS or DHS did not see the need after seeing the boys condition to remove them immediatlly. Brad only had 6-7 days DHS took 3 weeks! If he truly was an abuser would they have survived those 3 weeks they were left there?? This man is not quilty of anything other than believing the REAL abuser. Speaking of neighbors….they also had a neighbor say she would trust Leslie Tiesler with her own children! She had that woman buffaloed also!

        • So you are saying that the article that says he was there in December and noticed is wrong?I don’t see where the written facts are about being left home for 3 weeks. Where is that link?

  5. First of all this site needs to get facts straight before publishing. Second of all follow this link read the article, watch the videos and you will then know the children were not removed from the home for an additional 3 weeks after DSS seen the children. Third Brad seen the children for the first time in Dec 2011 after his ex wife used them as pawns for 26 months against him, at that time in Dec 2011 the children were healthy, or appeared healthy. Third the comment that you removed from this site earlier was the vindictive ex mother in law. You will also learn on the Dr. Phil site what kind of women the ex mother in law is once you read the statement she gave the Dr. Phil show, she is some piece of work and made herself look like a fool on national television. There is so much to this story that the public doesn’t know yet but they soon will, and I personally can’t wait for the truth to set Brad and the children free. Brad will always feel terrible over what happened to his children, he will always fight for his children, and he learned the hard way not to trust someone that he thought was trust worthy. As far as Leslie, I hope she gets prison time and suffers ten fold of what she did to the children. And to the children God Bless you all, I hope you will heal with time, and remember there are people out there that love you and only want the best for all of you!!

    • First of all, our site has the facts as reported by the media. Dr Phil is a moron and doesn’t count as a journalist. The rest of your “facts” are from that show which usually gets the facts wrong on any other adoption case that we have reported about. How do you know where the comment that was removed came from? You don’t.The fact is that he was arrested and charged with several crimes. We will report any updates to that when it occurs.

  6. “Facts as reported by the media” exactly since when is the media correct? The media screws up a lot of the facts constantly. If Dr. Phil is a moron why did that show have more correct information then WRAL, NBC17 or ABC11. As for your question why I know who the comment came from because I do and that is all you need to know. I am pretty sure the commentator was afraid of a slander suit and that is the only reason they removed it. You do have one thing right Brad was charged, wrongly charged for crimes he didn’t commit and by a over zealous DA. I can’t wait for the day when you will update your page with all the correct information, which will come in time, and not soon enough for me. When that happens I want you to think back to this conversation between you and I and realize that you need to put more time into your own research besides copying and pasting from new stations.

  7. Any small time unreliable or credible .net or .com can copy and paste all day long that does make it true statements. And since you didn’t post my last comment that tells me a lot about your website, 100% not allowed to blog or comment unless it suits you. And as far as not adding in the Dr, Phil show which should be under your UPDATE status on your site…. that also says a lot about you, that was more credible then the unreliable copy and paste from news stations in North Carolina

    • MJones or whatever your name is, you are a joke. First, I reserve the right to not post anything for any reason, including a post that someone wrote in a different name calling me names. Word to possible commenters: calling me a name is the easiest way to NOT get your post up. Secondly, I am not online 24/7 and hadn’t even got to your comment that you attempted to post under another name (to boost your position I assume) until a few moments ago. I hadn’t seen the Dr Phil piece -I know it must be hard to believe that we don’t always update our 1900 posts immediately and I will go look that up though I don’t trust anything on that site as I stated before-he has been very far off on other cases and of course he is biased.

      The fact that you don’t seem to want to address is that Brad has been arrested. The prosecutor, judge and jury will have to decide what to do with him, so you won’t be seeing any apology here. We did not participate in the arrest.

      You don’t have access to who comments here, so you don’t know who tried to post comments here before.Speculate all you want, but that is all it is.

      You continue to try to focus on 3 weeks left in the house. I didn’t say that wasn’t true but asked where it came from. CPS incompetence (that FREQUENTLY happens in these cases) is no excuse or defense for Brad.NO DEFENSE. I will not be thinking back to you at all regardless of the outcome. We have stated all along that we post things in real time and update as we go. The first name on this post is Leslie and I already stated that I don’t understand why her current husband is not under investigation. This case is about the children and there are many failures by many people, but your insistence on CPS incompetence being a defense for Brad is IDIOTIC. We are here for the truth and we will post on any changes in the charges, trial etc.

  8. Rally- Sorry someone called you a name on here however that was not me, I personally don’t agree with name calling, everyone is entitled to blogging with respect to others.

    • Ok, perhaps the comment I just approved was what you were referring to as the comment not posted. It had appeared on my list as posted but I don’t think it went thru. I have no problem with people disagreeing with me-I really don’t take it personally or I couldn’t continue to post about the stuff we do- but I will push back if I think more discussion is needed. I looked at Dr Phil site and did not see any new information that I could tell. I link to new info only. Often a case will have the same exact facts told over and over and unlike some sites that post all of that, we limit it to new things based on the first article we see. Brad has the right to defend himself but going on a show with an unlicensed psychologist who has had questionable business practices in the past is not the best way to do that.

      • Let me correct you. …what you are calling EXACT facts are no where near that. They are some reporters (written or TV) spin on the story to sell papers or gain viewers. I certainly don’t take their word for the gospel truth on any given story. I hope you know that there are lots of untruths that are published as “facts” to sell. As far as DR Phil– the show regarding Brad Thill you were hearing Brad’s account of things not DR Phil’s. Dr Phil allowed Brad Thill to voice his side which was not getting heard in North Carolina media. They wanted a bad guy. There again selling papers or having viewers. Brad Thill told his side period. No one elses. These are his FACTS. Your personal opinion & comment on Dr Phil and questionable business practices does not give you or anyone else the right to judge Brad for using whatever media offered to get out his FACTS that are not being shared by other media. You do not have the whole story.I will continue to keep the boys in my thoughts & prayers. I will wait & pray that the DSS,the DA and other authorities involved in trying to “spin” this story away from themselves will stumble and fail trying to take down an innocent man to save their own asses! When new facts are available I will post them. Oh and arrest does not prove quilt! Your statement to MJones insinuating that he/she is me is totally incorrect. I mentioned the 3 weeks. Obviously someone other than myself caught that fact and wondered how DSS actions in this case were so questionable. I must also say that I agree that name calling…..basically calling someone idiotic(MJones) is not very respectful of people that post here.

        • The exact facts I am speaking of are his arrest and charges so there is nothing to correct. I have never said the media is always correct but it is FACT that he is arrested and charged and will be seen by a judge SOON. I did a public search of Harnett county court records and will be publishing the following as an update: Brad has 3 separate case numbers each with 2 counts apiece for a total of 6. 6 counts is what I previously reported. His next hearing is 1/28/13. There are 3 Felony INT CHILD ABUSE-SER PHYS INJ which is Statute 14-318.4(A) and 3 Felony NEG CHILD ABUSE-SER PHYS INJ which is Statute 14-318.4(A5) against him. What counts is what happens in the courtroom, not what he says on a ridiculous TV talk show hosted by an unlicensed psychologist. Too bad that you want officials to fail and not the Truth to come out. We want the truth to come out and justice to be served. You are overly emotionally involved in this.

          We have never stated that arrest proves guilt EVER. DSS actions or inactions (their incompetence) has nothing to do with innocence of the accused. I think I have stated that several times now. And the premise that it is idiotic to believe that DSS issues prove innocence STANDS. That is what I said is idiotic. The arguments that commenters have tried to bring to this case to prove some kind of innocence are woefully inadequate.

  9. I reread all statements and saw the only name calling was you calling Dr Phil a moron & calling Brad idiotic. I thought for a moment you were directing this at me so I reread my posts. Maybe you should proof read your own posts.

  10. Anyone know what happened on this case?

  11. I could not find a new media article on the case, but I looked up the public court case record. Both of them have a court date of April 22, 2013. I updated the post with this information

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>