ST. LOUIS, Missouri (Isabelle Zehnder reporting) — The boyfriend of Shelby Dasher, 20 – Baby Tyler’s mother who admitted to beating her 13-month-old baby Tuesday – was interviewed by KSDK 5 News Saturday and said he didn’t see this coming, Shelby was a good mother, she made sacrifices for her baby, she didn’t drink or do drugs as was reported, and the only thing he could figure is that she was possessed.
The interview began with questions about Tyler’s father, Joe Ellington, who has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and who was not present in Baby Tyler’s daily life.
Shelby’s current boyfriend, Edgar Rivas, 24, said he and Joe hugged after learning that Baby Tyler was missing.
The reporter said she’d heard Joe was a nice guy. She asked Edgar if Joe had a good disposition and Edgar replied, “We called him the Gentle Giant. Since he’s been on his medication he put on a lot of weight so since he’s added weight to him we always call him the Gentle Giant just because he became a big boy but he had a really soft heart.”
When asked what Joe was like as a father Edgar said, “Well, Joe wasn’t around like, you know, most people would have thought he would be just because of the fact that he had his condition. He was aware of his condition and he didn’t want to be around unless he knew he was fully ready and had full control of his condition. Because he didn’t want to do any type of harm.
“So when he did come over, the times he did come over to visit his kid at Shelby’s over here at the house he came with his mother or his father. He was never alone with Shelby and the baby,” Edgar said.
Asked if Joe has been trying to do the right thing Edgar said, “He has, he’s trying to be a great father just because the fact that I’ve talked to him, you know, not just me, also his other friend, Carl, because Carl has a child. So everybody that pretty much were friends with him gave our two cents with ‘Joe, you should be around your own child, be more active with him.’ He was waiting for him [Tyler] to get a little bigger, because you know, he didn’t feel he was ready to be around him as little as he was because he has no experience with any kids.”
Asked how long he’s been dating Shelby, Edgar said, “I’ve been seeing her for probably about two months, just ever since then every day. She comes over. She’s at my house and if not at my house, I’m here with her and Tyler. She was always with Tyler – always – and if she didn’t have Tyler it was always he was at a friend’s house or a baby sitter’s, or her mom, Christine had him. She was always with Tyler.
“She gave up so much. If she couldn’t go somewhere because she had Tyler she’d stay home and not go anywhere,” Edgar said.
He said she’d rather be home with Tyler than going out, and that Shelby really didn’t drink. Asked if she had a job Edgar said no, she was getting ready to start school the following week. She was about to start beauty school so she could do what her mother did, a hair stylist and doing what she loved.
Asked to confirm that Shelby would stay home instead of going out to party even if she wanted to go out, and that she was a good and dedicated mom, Edgar said, “She was. She never disciplined him. When she would feed him and he was throwing his food she would take a deep breath and just sit there for a minute. Or I’d help her. I’d say ‘I’ll feed him’ because Tyler – every time Tyler didn’t want to eat something that she would try to give him, and I tried it he’d eat it right away.
“She’s get mad – not get mad – she’d laugh about it and would be like ‘that’s not fair.’ But jokingly you know. It was just – she never beat him. I never saw her spank him. Not even a slap on the hand. Never seen her yell at him, nothing like that.”
Edgar was asked if he’d been with her, then, day in and day out for the past couple of months. He said, “Yeah, I was here all the time. I was here.”
Asked if there was something Edgar wanted to clarify about the night before Baby Tyler vanished he said, “The night before, we were at my house. All we did was sit around, play video games, watch movies, on the internet playing music, you know we just hung out like friends would do. Just hang out. Yeah, there was alcohol but there were only two people who were actually drinking and they were old enough. It’s not like they were drinking to get drunk. It was a beer, that’s all it was.”
Asked how many people were there, Edgar said, “Altogether there were five friends.” He said Tyler was home with Shelby’s mother. He said Shelby had nothing to drink that night before Tyler vanished. “She had nothing to drink. No drugs, no alcohol, nothing, just hanging out.”
He was asked who he’d heard say what about the night before, Edgar said he saw on Facebook and reports he’d been watching where it was said she was partying and doing heroin. He said there was none of that going on whatsoever that night. It was just friends hanging out.
Asked when Shelby went home Edgar said, “I don’t know exactly what time she left but it was around 2:30.” He also said this wasn’t the only time Shelby didn’t drink. He said there were times when he’d ask her to try a drink she’d refuse and said she didn’t even want to taste it.
“Out of all the single mothers I know, besides my own sister, she was very dedicated to Tyler. She was very dedicated to him,” Edgar said. He said there were no signs that anything was wrong Monday night. She acted like all the other girls going on Facebook, texting, things like that if someone wasn’t talking to her.
Asked if she was happy Edgar said, “From what we’ve all seen she was. Especially when she was with Tyler. The bonding that we seen when they were together.”
Asked what he thinks about what happened Edgar said all he can see are “questions marks, why? What happened? What triggered this? What triggered her? What made this night so different from any other night? He [Tyler] woke up at 6:30 in the morning so what triggered you to do it this time?”
Edgar said Baby Tyler was supposed to leave Thursday with a friend to go out of town for a vacation to give Shelby a break. “A little time away from Tyler to have some fun and do what you want to do,” he said. “She could have waited two days,” Edgar said.
The interviewer said it sounds like Shelby was sleep-deprived the night Tyler was murdered, and that Shelby only had a few hours of sleep. Edgar said he’d been crabby from teething. “Teething, that’s the worst I’ve ever seen him [Tyler]. His personality, you know. Crying, being crabby, but she handled that very well by giving him the numbing medicine that he needed for his teething. But even during the teething part, I thought that would always be the hardest part. The teething part. She handled it very well, she handled it very well,” he said.
Asked what happened, and how it came about that he was there to call 911, Edgar said, “She texted me at 10:30 or around 11 in the morning saying good morning, what are you guys doing. She texted me from the computer and I didn’t respond back. By me responding back was when I picked up the phone when I finally did get up. I got up and called her. She asked what I was doing and I said just hanging out with a few friends that had stopped by in the morning.”
Edgar said Shelby did mention to him that Tyler was still sleeping. “When she told me that,” he said, “I thought it was unusual because I know he would have been up already. He’s up by 6:30, he’s early taking his first morning nap by 10 or 11 so it was just unusual for him to sleep all morning, especially since it was naptime. After she mentioned he was still sleeping she was, like well, ‘I’m gonna cook breakfast. Would you like to come over for breakfast?”
Edgar told her yes, he would come over for breakfast. He asked if his roommate could come too. They both walked there. He said he’d discovered a short-cut to Shelby’s house that went by the cemetery. He said he jumped the fence near where Tyler’s body was and didn’t even know it was there.
He began to cry, saying he walked past Tyler, jumped the fence, and approached the back of Shelby’s house. He said when he opened the back screen door Shelby was downstairs and asked them to come downstairs. She told them she was going to smoke a cigarette. He said Shelby told them, “Let’s go outside and smoke a cigarette and then I’ll go inside and wake up Tyler and I’ll make breakfast.”
He, his roommate, and Shelby smoked their cigarettes. Shelby was the first one done, Edgar said. He said she ran upstairs, came back out screaming, “Where’s my baby, where’s my baby. Tyler’s not in his crib.”
Edgar said that’s when he went inside the house, ran into Tyler’s room, and he wasn’t there. “By the time I came outside to check on her she was already in the driveway on the phone calling her mom saying, ‘Mom, where are you at? I know you’re at work but please tell me you took Tyler’ and I guess that’s when her mother said ‘I don’t have him, I’m on my way.’ She [Shelby’s mom, Christine] came, she fell on the ground in the driveway, crying, and that’s when I picked up the phone and dialed 911myself.
“I lost it when I actually took a second to realize what I was doing, I’m actually calling 911 for Tyler being missing. That’s when it hit me the most and that’s when I broke down and told the dispatcher to ‘hold on while I get a second to myself, to get myself together.’ So he gave me a second and asked me for the address. I gave him the address but I didn’t know the name of the street. So I literally ran all the way up the street to find out what the name of the street was.
“By the time I was coming back another friend pulled up, I guess just coming by to show up. I didn’t know if she texted him earlier that day to come but he showed up and he parked his car in the driveway. He helped me look for Tyler in the house. Tyler wasn’t in the house so he went knocking on the neighbors’ doors to see if anybody had seen anything suspicious and at the same time we were looking and knocking on neighbors’ doors Christine showed up looking for Tyler and I told her there was no point in going in the house because we had already looked and he’s not there.
“But I guess for her own comfort I think she just went in there to make sure. And then after that police shortly showed up and right away took me, my roommate and a friend of mine that ended up pulling up, they took us down to the police station for questioning. They said we weren’t arrested, all they wanted to do was find out what we were doing there and what we know from when we got here until I guess we were in their custody.
“We just gave them our story. The reason they took us to Clayton I guess before 3 o’clock and I sat down until about 5:30 in the morning waiting just to be questioned. That’s when I realized, come to find out, Tyler was found and found beaten to death. That’s when I broke down in front of them. Shortly after that he said ‘OK, we’re done. You and your friend can go home,” Edgar said.
Edgar said there was little police could release to him so he had to find everything out basically through the news, following Facebook and going to websites.
Asked if he is going to try to get a hold of Shelby, Edgar faced the camera and said, “Why did you do this? What made this different from any other day? There’s just a lot of questions that haven’t been answered.”
Asked if he thinks he’ll get a chance to talk to Shelby, Edgar said, “Actually, I don’t think so just because I’m pretty sure they’re keeping her away from everybody, or contact with anybody.”
Asked what types of feelings he’s having at this time, Edgar faced the camera again and said, “I don’t, I can’t hate you. I made my own mistakes. I can’t hate you for what you did. I’m … it’s upsetting for what you did but since you were a close friend of mine it’s hard for me to hate you right away.”
Edgar turned back to face the interviewer and said, “It’s just since I’ve known her for some time it’s just hard for me to turn my back on her and to say ‘hell with you, you deserve death.’ I don’t think anybody deserves death. I think that’s just how I’ve thought of things.”
He was asked if Shelby might have somehow lost reality, with inviting everyone over for breakfast while her baby was missing. Or was she fully aware? Was she manipulating? Did she black it out before he came over? Lost reality?
Edgar said, “I guess she tried blocking it out because I do remember when we were sitting outside, I kept telling her like ‘Can I wake him up? Can I go wake up Tyler? Since he’d been sleeping that long I said ‘let me go wake him up.’ She did resist, she did tell me ‘let me go and wake him up.’
“So after I realized, and after everything that I found out and I sit back and look at it I realize she knew he wasn’t there. That’s why she didn’t want me to go in there, she wanted to go inside probably and bottle up all her feelings to make it very convincing that he wasn’t there and somebody else took him.”
Asked if she’d ever lied before or covered up things, or if she was honest, Edgar said, “She was very open and honest, especially with me. Like you know when it came to my ex-girlfriends, and I was talking to them she respected it but she didn’t like it but she still showed no signs that like ‘oh, I’m mad at you or I’m not going to talk to you because you’re speaking to them.’ She was, she handled the situation like any normal adult would. Or at least from what she showed.”
Asked if he could remember a time where Shelby did something out of the blue that made zero sense, Edgar said, “From my guess, I guess she had all the feelings, the feelings she had all balled up and I guess that morning when she woke up, I guess that when everything just came out.
“But still with that understanding, with that, I don’t understand where her mother was. Her mother was home. Her mom didn’t have to be at work, or leave until 7:30. Tyler wakes up every day at 6:30 in the morning. He’s on a schedule so with Tyler crying, especially if she did beat him in his crib, if she did beat him in his crib anybody would figure the first hit probably wouldn’t have killed him but you know it would hurt him where he would scream instead of crying from being woken up it would be pain.
“It would be crying of pain of a baby being beaten and I’m sure that he would scream. He probably would be screaming. So with him screaming plus her probably yelling and hitting him or whatever or how she did it, I’m sure that Christine should have heard him. That’s all I want to know too. I’d like to talk to Christine and be like ‘Christine, where were you at? Why didn’t you wake up?”
Edgar said he tried adding Christine on Facebook but it appears to him she’s blocked her settings so that nobody can write to her. Asked if anyone knows where Christine is, Edgar said nobody knows where she is and it’s his guess she’s gone into hiding. He said, “If you are hiding, why are you hiding? You have no reason to hide.
Summarizing their interview, the KSDK interviewer said it doesn’t seem like Shelby was resentful and instead she was loving, and tended to Tyler.
Edgar, shrugging his shoulders as if to question why, said, “To me, it’s almost like she was possessed.”
- 2 Missouri babies missing, Baby Lisa and Baby Tyler: Cases eerily similar
- Baby Tyler’s mom emotionless when judge enters ‘not guilty’ plea
- Baby Tyler Dasher’s mom admits to killing him, to be arraigned
- Cause of MO baby’s death: Blunt force trauma; mom charged with 2nd-degree murder
- Missouri baby reported missing from crib found murdered, mother in custody
- Breaking News: Body found Tuesday confirmed to be baby Tyler Dasher
- Breaking News: Small child’s body found during search for missing Tyler Dasher
- ALERT: Another baby missing from his crib in Missouri – Tyler Dasher
Anyone with information about Tyler is asked to call the St. Louis County Police Department precinct at 314-889-2341.
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