South Carolina couple are arrested after nephew ‘bludgeoned his 22-year-old pregnant ex-girlfriend to death’ in their home – and they ‘ignored her tortured cries’: Second girl linked to ‘killer’ is missing
Michael Burnett, 43, and Melissa Burnett, 49, have been arrested after ignoring the ‘tortured cries’ of Clarissa Winchester, 22
She was allegedly ‘bludgeoned to death’ in the Burnetts’ home by their nephew Tyler Wilkins, 21
Wilkins was arrested and charged with kidnapping and murder on November 10 after the lifeless bodies of Winchester and her newborn baby were found
He was also identified as Winchester’s boyfriend and the father of her baby and had allegedly beat the 22-year-old over the course of two hours
She was left with fatal injuries to the head and neck
The Burnetts ‘were in the house at the time of the brutal assault’ but ‘failed to act, call 911, or provide any other assistance,’ authorities say
Wilkins has also been charged with unlawful conduct toward a child for allegedly failing ‘to seek medical attention for the recently born fetus’
Wilkins’ priors include arrests for drug possession, highly aggravated domestic violence, attempted murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, threatening the life of an official and throwing bodily fluids
Investigators earlier this month began eyeing Wilkins in relation to the disappearance of another ex, 19-year-old Jorden Nebling, who was last seen October 10, 2020
A South Carolina couple has been arrested after ignoring the ‘tortured cries’ of a 22-year-old pregnant woman being ‘bludgeoned to death’ in their home by their nephew.
Michael Burnett, 43, and Melissa Burnett, 49, were identified by the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office on Monday as the uncle and aunt of Tyler Wilkens, 21, who has been accused of bludgeoning his pregnant ex-girlfriend Clarissa Winchester, to death early in the month.
Wilkins was arrested and charged with kidnapping and murder on November 10, after the body of Winchester, 22, and her newborn baby were found lifeless in a home in Greenville County just about 8.30pm on November 9.
Wilkins, who was identified as Winchester’s boyfriend and the father of her baby, had allegedly beaten the 22-year-old over the course of two hours, leaving her with fatal injuries to her head and neck, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by WMBF-TV.
The Burnetts ‘were in the house at the time of the brutal assault’ but ‘failed to act, call 911, or provide any other assistance,’ even as Winchester screamed for help, according to the sheriff’s office.
Investigators said earlier this month that they’re also eyeing Wilkins in relation to the disappearance of Jorden Nebling, a 19-year-old woman last seen October 10, 2020.
Sheriff’s office investigator Blake Wolfe told The State that Nebling was last seen being picked up by an ex-boyfriend.
Wilkins picked her up on Oct. 10, 2020, after a car she had borrowed from a friend broke down. Her family did not report her missing for a month, which complicated the investigation. Nebling’s stepmother, Mary Tucker, identified the ex-boyfriend as Wilkins in comments to Fox News. ‘In my heart, I think he did something to her,’ she said.
Following the death of Winchester in their home, the Burnett’s were booked over the weekend on charges of misprision of a felony, but they have since been released on $20,000 bonds, the sheriff’s office said.
The Burnetts were described as Wilkins’ uncle and aunt. Public records list Michael Burnett as residing at the address where police say they found ‘Winchester’s deceased body along with a lifeless fetus.’
Winchester was seven months pregnant at the time of the fatal beating but it remains unclear if the baby was stillborn or was born during the deadly attack.
Wilkins has also been charged with unlawful conduct toward a child for allegedly failing ‘to seek medical attention for the recently born fetus,’ police said.
Winchester had planned to name the baby, who was a boy, Grayson Cain, according to a GoFundMe set up by her family, that has raised $7,915 of the $5,500 goal.
Michael and Melinda Winchester, Clarissa’s parents, said that they’d set up the fund as they battled ‘one of the toughest losses in [their] entire lives.’
‘We are trying to get through the hardship of losing our daughter and grandchild Clarissa Michelle Winchester and Grayson Cain Winchester.
‘We need the public to help us to bury our children anyone with a heart and a little to help please reach out and donate to this cause.’
Some donating commented on the soon-to-be mom saying that she had been ‘excited to become a mommy.’
Clarissa Winchester’s mother Melinda told Fox 8, that the death of her daughter changed her life.
‘She was my baby. She meant everything to me,’ she said.
‘I can’t even talk to her now.’
Her father Michael said that they couldn’t get a hold of their daughter the day after she died, noting that her silence had been unusual.
‘We tried to call her. Melinda tried to call her, starting at 7.30 in the morning, and we just never got an answer,’ he said.
‘We tried to call his phone. It rang a few times and did the same and so we just figured they were in bed asleep.
‘After a while, his phone started going straight to voicemail. Hers continued to ring throughout the whole process and just never got an answer.’
‘We know that just wasn’t Clarissa and that’s not our relationship with her.’
Michael said he was worried about his daughter, who was seven months pregnant.
So, after not hearing from her for hours, he went looking for her and found her boyfriend at a home on Saw Mill Road.
‘We decided to go check on her,’ Michael said.
‘I went to his door, and I could tell right away that something was wrong. He went back inside his home, shut his door and we immediately called the police.
‘They came right out, and everything started unfolding. Little did we know she was in the home. He beat her to death without mercy.’
Michael added that he and his wife had been excited to become grandparents.
‘The baby would’ve meant…did mean everything to us and we refer to him as a baby,’ Michael said.
‘We’d been buying and patiently waiting to meet this baby boy. We were robbed of the opportunity to get to be g-paw and g-maw,’ he said.
Michael claims he and his daughter had been victims of Wilkins in the past.
‘We had an incident where you know we tried to work through and forgive with another domestic violence situation where I dropped charges, where he [Wilkins] had actually fired a gun at me and Clarissa standing together,’ Michael said.
‘That was in December this past year,’ he said.
The bereaved father and grandfather also claimed that he had seen the warning signs early on.
‘We knew he was controlling, manipulative and psychologically abusive, [and we] tried to warn Clarissa of these red flags but she just wanted to love him,’ he said.
‘She thought she could save him. She really thought she could save him. She didn’t want to give up on him.’
According to a background check from the State Law Enforcement Division, Wilkins had previously been arrested for drug possession, domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature, attempted murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, threatening the life of an official and throwing bodily fluids.
Court records show Wilkins was granted bond in January with firearm restriction. Wilkins appeared in court but was denied bond.
Nebling’s stepmother also said he had a ‘history of being abusive.’
‘Police have searched his property. I know that they dug up a concrete pad in the driveway that he had recently put down close to when she went missing.
‘I know that the police focused a lot on talking to him. But unfortunately, this is a very, very remote area.’
Wilkins has not been charged in connection with Nebling’s disappearance.