Imagine for a moment what it must be like to be beaten regularly with a belt, your body constantly wracked from pain and covered in bruises, to be forced to wear an electronic dog training “shock collar” so that you can be led around and jerked into submission, actually bitten over and over by another human, and have people burn your face with cigarettes whenever you whimper or cry or scream.
These atrocities, and more, were the everyday life of mentally-disabled four-year-old Summer Lytle of Spokane, Washington.
This child apparently drowned in a bathtub Saturday night, March 10, after her obviously evil stepmother left her to rinse her urine-soaked clothing and to go cook a special First Wedding Anniversary dinner for the child’s equally evil father returning home from work. And when that stepmother finally went to find her lifeless body some time later and began futile efforts of CPR, father went calmly to the front porch to smoke a cigarette or two.
“It’s probably the worst case of abuse that any of us in hundreds of combined years in this unit have ever seen,” said Sgt. Joe Peterson of Spokane’s major crime investigations unit.
Of important note, this family was the subject of an investigation begun last January by the Washington Dept. of Social and Health Services into claims of neglect in their care of Summer. But finding no signs of abuse (or perhaps evidencing the de-escalation thereof), the case was closed in October and authorities ceased their watch over this child. “Nobody called in saying they had seen this child covered with bruises,” said the department’s spokesperson Kathy Spears. “I’m not going to second-guess what happened with this investigation.”
Authorities are still searching for the child’s natural mother, who hasn’t a clue about her daughter’s recent demise.
Summer’s father, Jonathan D. Lytle, 28, and her stepmother, Adriana L. Lytle, 32, were arraigned yesterday in Spokane County on charges of first-degree murder and remain jailed under a bond of $500,000 each.
And while Summer died from apparent drowning, the autopsy is expected to take some time to reveal a formal cause of death, due to the extensive injuries suffered by this child.
The couple’s eight-month-old son has been place in foster care.
Brace yourself. Steve details a harrowing account of the stepmother’s obvious sadism and offers a wealth of information about her gleaned from her own MySpace account and other online sites.