In a horrific case of child abuse, a Florida woman was arrested for beating her adopted son with a dog chain and chipping his teeth with pliers.

In a news conference Monday (May 11), Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said the accused, identified as 47-year-old Patricia Hyler, had four adopted children. She abused all of them but the 14-year-old boy was her “target child.” The boy lived with the accused and her husband for almost eight years. The abuse, however, came to light only after one of the other adopted children texted someone about it who subsequently alerted the authorities.

Investigation revealed the woman beat the teen with a dog chain and chipped his teeth with pliers. She cut his arms and made him sleep on dirty floor. The boy was also stripped off his clothing and sprayed water on him with a hose in the front yard.

Calling this one of the worst cases of child abuse, Johnson said, "She abused this child pretty severely, but she took him out of school and homeschooled him for two years because she knew that if she sent him to school, obviously, somebody would report it. So she kept him at home.”

The woman was taken into custody on May 8. She was charged with aggravated child abuse and was being held without bond at the Santa Rosa County Jail. After the investigation comes to a conclusion, additional charges may be levied on the woman. Meanwhile, all four children are now in state custody. The husband was not expected to be charged as he wasn’t at home when the abuse was committed.

"I'll be honest with you, as a father it pisses me off, is what it does. Somebody that can do that to another human is bad enough. But you start doing that to a child, yeah, we take it personally. We really do,” Johnson said at the press conference. Investigation into the case was ongoing.

The incident comes less than a month after a Wisconsin woman was charged after her three-month-old child was found dead due to malnutrition. The boy was dehydrated and thin as a rake and also had burns and bruises on his body.

woman in handcuffs
23-year-old Sabita Dookram was arrested for allegedly throwing her newborn baby outside a bathroom window. Getty Images/John Moore