Invisible Children

Child of Ardee Verlon Tyler and Penny Sue Tyler

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.


Ardee Verlon Tyler and Penny Sue Tyler adopted five girls from Liberia in 2005. The couple had two older biological children. The second adopted daughter, age 8 when she first arrived in the family and 10 when the children were finally removed, was singled out for abuse by her adoptive parents. They tied her with a rope during the day and restrained her in the basement at night, beating her, depriving her of food, and once forcing her to spend the night outside in the cold for stealing a cookie. She was also sexually assaulted by her older adoptive brother (he pleaded no contest at trial), and her older adoptive sister cooperated with their parents in restraining her. The Tylers were convicted of child abuse and each received ten year sentences. The Tyler’s older biological son was sentenced to two years and their biological older daughter received a 90 day sentence. The abuse did not come to light until the Tylers were in the process of handing the girl off to another family. The Tylers homeschooled all of the children and a retired teacher who came in to help out with the girls’ education served as a key witness against the couple in court. The other adopted children were also abused—deprived of food and called degrading names—but none to the extent that the second adopted daughter was. The couple asserted that the second adopted daughter was controlled by Satan and that the abuse they subjected her to was for her own good.

Date: October 1, 2007
Location: Fairview, Oklahoma

Documents: Date:
THE STORY – Tyler Liberian Children
Preliminary set for Fairview couple accused of abusing Liberian girl 2008-09-29
Oklahoma v Ardee Verlon Tyler – Affidavit 2008-10-01
Oklahoma v Ashton Malachi Tyler – Affidavit 2008-10-01
Oklahoma v Penny Sue Tyler – Affidavit 2008-10-01
Oklahoma v Nathania Dellare Tyler – Affidavit 2008-10-01
State of Oklahoma – Affidavit for Search Warrant 2008-10-08
Child abuse, rape charges filed against local family 2008-10-09
Tylers arraigned on felony counts 2008-10-20
4 members of Fairview family are charged with abuse of adopted girl 2008-11-13
Parents charged with abuse of adopted 12-year-old 2008-11-13
Western Oklahoma family accused of child abuse 2008-11-14
Bond continued in rape and abuse case 2008-11-20
State investigates DHS in Tyler case 2008-12-04
Judge recuses in Tyler felony trial 2009-01-19
“For the least of them…” 2009-09-17
Oklahoma family accused of abusing girl 2009-09-28
Fairview family charged in abuse case involving Liberian child 2009-09-28
Fairview family pleads no contest to abuse charges 2009-12-09
Major Co. judge to decide family’s sentence in adoption abuse 2009-12-11
Adopted family’s fate rests in Oklahoma judge’s hands 2010-02-01
Fairview couple gets suspended sentence 2010-02-01
3 family members sentenced in abuse of adopted girl, sentencing postponed for 4th in case 2010-02-02
Suspended sentences given in Oklahoma abuse case 2010-02-02
Major County judge sentences 20-year-old to 2 years in prison for abusing adopted Liberian girl 2010-03-10
State cuts sex offender rehab 2010-03-11
Adoptive brother of Liberian girl sentenced for Oklahoma rape 2010-03-11
Liberian sisters to stay with Oklahoma adoptive parents 2010-03-30
Inhofe asks for DHS investigation of Liberian adoptees’ case 2010-04-02
Oklahoma judge’s child custody ruling prompts state attorney general, Major County DA to seek emergency review 2010-04-02
Judge in Fairview custody case releases written statement 2010-04-05
Attorney General Seeks to Terminate Couple’s Parental Rights As Judge Reopens Case 2010-04-07
Adopted Liberian girls: Judge reopens custody case 2010-04-08
Sisters’ adoptive Oklahoma family reflects 2010-04-11
Opinion: The judge was wrong Reopening adopted girls’ abuse cases necessary 2010-04-18
Fairview case draws scrutiny from Liberian ambassador 2010-04-18
Liberian sisters’ custody remains in Major County court 2010-11-23
Fairview couple relinquish parental rights to adopted Liberian daughters 2010-12-30