(WSVN) - A South Florida woman was beaten in front of her 3-year-old son. She survived, but days later, she took her own life. Now, her mother is trying to make sure the case against her daughter’s attackers doesn’t end with her death. Mother’s Mission, a Nightteam special assignment report. Here’s Karen Hensel.
This is video of the emotional moment the family of Tyler Harper says their final goodbye to her.
Tyler’s 3-year-old son Kai is lifted over the casket to kiss his mom one more time. He believes she is sleeping.
Then, the 22-year-old’s own mother gives a final kiss before the casket is closed.
But the final days of Tyler’s life began here in Sunrise, on a dead end street in February, where cellphone videos show her being beaten in front of her toddler.
If you listen closely, you hear Kai repeatedly say, “Don’t do that to my mommy.”
Kai: “Don’t do that to my mommy.”
Voice on the video: “She got beat.”
According to the Sunrise Police report, Tyler was attacked by three women she knew in a jealous rage over a man.
As she was “pinned to the ground,” two men joined in and also “began beating” her. One even used a “board.”
When she escaped to her car, the attackers started throwing cement blocks and rocks at her vehicle, shattering her windshield.
Tyler was left bloodied and bruised, with one eye swollen shut.
Pictures taken by police as evidence at the hospital show her physical injuries, but unfortunately, not the deeper, emotional scars.
Two days later, she hanged herself from a balcony.
Sasha Paynter, Tyler’s mother, holding the ashes/urn: “This is Ty. This is how I have to hold her now.”
Tyler’s mom, Sasha Paynter, keeps her daughter’s ashes close by and her grandson even closer.
She watched the video from that night for the first time.
Sasha Paynter: “That’s her car. They’re stomping on her. Nobody does anything.”
She says the fight her daughter put up that night has now become her fight.
Sasha Paynter: “They jumped her. They threw stuff on her car. A stranger, at some point, had to pull him away. She fought for her life.”
The police report lists the crimes as burglary, battery and property damage, since Tyler’s phone and wallet were stolen after the beating.
Sasha Paynter: “Everybody pulled out their phones and recorded. Nobody jumped in. Nobody jumped in. Nobody said ‘stop.’ Everybody just pulled out a phone and recorded.”
Three days after Tyler Harper killed herself, Sunrise Police listed the case against her attackers as “pending inactive.” Citing her suicide, the detective wrote there was “insufficient evidence” to move forward.
Sasha Paynter: “So, what does that mean? The case is closed? With no arrests made? Like, all the proof and evidence is there.”
And now, three months later, Sasha is pushing even harder for answers.
Sasha Paynter: “Why isn’t anybody doing anything? Because she’s not here? But we have recordings, her statement, witnesses’ statements. Why is it inactive? That’s a lot of activity, if you ask me.”
Before she died, Tyler signed an affidavit for police while still in the hospital, stating she did want to prosecute the suspects. That’s her signature.
Sasha Paynter: “At the hospital that Friday night, she said she wanted to prosecute. I’m taking that torch, and I will continue on to do so for her. I want these people charged, all of them, every one of them.”
In a statement to 7News, Sunrise Police said, “Cases that are listed as ‘pending inactive’ are not closed cases, however, they are inactive because our investigation needs new leads in the case to proceed further. If new leads are revealed, the case will move forward in the hopes that an arrest can be made.”
Sasha Paynter: “I’m not going to stop. I’m not, and that’s why I keep saying they messed with the right mother. I’m not stopping.”
A mother’s heartbreak is now a mother’s mission.
If you have any information on Tyler Harper’s case, call Sunrise Police or Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.
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