Angie Fecko says the only thing keeping her together right now is the love of those around her. Angie is blaming Tyler's death on Linda Petrait. She says Linda was the one who challenged her son to a drinking game Monday, which police say ultimately lead to Tyler's death. Today, Angie along with Tyler's friends and relatives, spoke to us about this tragedy. "Part of my heart was ripped out of me and I've never going to get that back," says Angie Fecko.
Tyler's babysitter, Jennifer Smith, says she can't believe this happened to someone she was so close to. "After all the reports came out that they were challenging this 11-year-old for drinking games, it just blew my mind because he didn't seem like the type of person that would do it," says Smith.
Court documents charge Dale Phillips, who's Tyler's uncle and Angies brother. They also charge his girlfriend, Linda Petrait, with child endangerment, but Tyler's mother says it was Linda who gave her son the alcohol. "Linda Petrait, she was having a drinking contest with my son, they tried to say that my little brother did but it was not. A person that was there that I believe with all my heart told the truth. The police questioned him and he told them that it was Linda having a drinking contest with him," says Angie Fecko.
Angie says the incident did occur at her brother home in Joplin, but that it was Linda who challenged him to a drinking game involving Jim Beam whiskey. "God just didn't step in in time and Linda Petrait was giving him the alcohol and everything and I hope she pays for every last thing that she did," says Angie Fecko.
Friends of Tyler's also spoke out today, remembering the times they shared and the memories they created. "It hurt almost everybody around here, all the kids in this complex knew him," says neighbor, Theodore Johnson. "He was kind, he was nice, he was friendful, he was helpful," says Tyler's friend, Halie Douty. "If I needed him for anything I could just walk over to his building and just talk to him about it," says Tyler's friend, Ryan Carpenter. "He's the type of person that's always there for you if you needed him, and he tells you everything," says Tyler's friend, Kelsey Jordan.
Tyler's mom says her seven children is what's keeping her going through this tough time. She also has a message for anyone with kids. "Never let your kids have alcohol, not even a sip of it," says Angie Fecko.
Funeral arrangements for Tyler are set for Friday at 1:00 p.m. at Parker Mortuary. A fund is now set up for anyone who would like to donate money to help cover those funeral expenses. Donations can be made in the name of T.J. Fecko at Parker Mortuary.
The preliminary autopsy results were released on Tyler today, and so far, authorities say it shows nothing out of the ordinary, which is expected when you're looking at a death involving alcohol poisoning. Police say the toxicology results, which are due back in a couple of weeks, are expected to show a high blood-alcohol level.
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