Deputies: Couple brutally tortured boy, forced another to drink boiling water

Posted at 9:09 AM, June 6, 2023 and last updated 3:41 PM, July 7, 2023


A Florida couple is facing dozens of charges for brutally torturing a 5-year-old boy, police say.

Taylor Schaefer, 28, and her boyfriend, 32-year-old Shawn Stone, are each facing more than two dozen charges for repeatedly abusing the boy and two other children in their DeLand-area home, according to the Volusia Sheriff’s Office.

shawn stone and taylor schaefer mugshots

(L) Shawn Stone (Volusia Sheriff’s Office), (R) Taylor Schaefer (Pasco County Sheriff’s Office)

Stone was initially taken into custody May 9 after Schaefer told authorities she found home surveillance footage of Stone abusing the boy.

An investigation revealed multiple recordings of the child being abused, including being beaten with a mop handle, having his hands bound behind his back for hours, being forced into a dog cage and deprived of food, deputies say.

According to a press release, the boy suffered 46 visible injuries “in addition to internal injuries, including a fractured skull.”

Authorities say Schaefer witnessed the repeated abuse and failed to intervene.

An investigation also revealed that another child in the home was also allegedly beaten and “forced to drink boiling water.” Authorities say a third child “was not receiving the proper nutrition or care for a serious medical condition.” All three children witnessed the others being abused.

Stone is facing 24 charges and Schaefer is facing 25 charges ranging from child neglect, failure to report child abuse and aggravated child abuse.

Volusia County jail records indicate a criminal history dating back to 2010 for Stone.

Schaefer worked for a child welfare organization until Stone’s arrest, according to The Daytona Beach News-Journal. She was taken into custody June 5 in Pasco County.



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