Invisible Children

3 Children of Leslie Tiesler and Brad Thill

Content note: Case narratives include descriptions of severe violence inflicted on children, including abuse and neglect, sexual violence, torture, and murder, as well as mentions of suicide and domestic violence. They also include photos of victims and perpetrators of violence.


Leslie Tiesler is accused of starving three adopted sons, aged 13 and 14, shooting them with a BB gun, beating them with a spoon, and confining them to a tool chest for days. There were two other two children in the home, one biological. Leslie’s ex-husband, Brad Thills, adopted the four children in 2008, but the children continued to live with Leslie while Brad was deployed, and it was in her care that the alleged abuse took place. The children are now in foster care and Brad has been charged as an accomplice in the abuse; he maintains that he had no idea how the children were treated while he was deployed and that he returned home to find them in miserable conditions. The children’s plight was not noticed because Leslie was homeschooling them. A month and a half after removal from the home, the 3 abused boys, who had been systematically starved for at least 14 months and were emaciated when removed from the home, had gained 27, 20 and 10 pounds.

Date: May 2012
Location: Cameron, North Carolina

Documents: Date:
Police: Cameron woman starved, beat three of her five children 2012-10-22
Shocking abuse allegations detailed in warrants 2012-10-23
Father accused of not reporting alleged child abuse (video) 2012-10-23
Father arrested, accused of not reporting alleged child abuse 2012-10-23
Cameron woman accused of starving, beating her children 2012-10-23
Brad Thill, who is charged with child abuse, rejects charges 2012-10-23
Harnett father charged with child abuse, neglect 2012-11-12
Dad says he missed ‘red flags’ in Harnett child abuse case 2012-11-29
Beaten, Starved and Locked in a Room? 2012-11-29
Attorney: Kids lied about being locked in tool box 2012-12-05