Four arrested after two teenagers commit suicide

TAZEWELL, VA (WOAY) – Justin Dye and Kayla Hodges were two high school students who attended the same school and suffered in silence.Both students ended up committing suicide. Justin’s stepfather, mother and Kayla Hodges father, and his live in friend are being charged with Felony child neglect.

Sheriff Brian L. Hieatt spoke about the arrests and said “The investigation showed us the parents had neglected to do things that needed to be done that could’ve kept those children alive. Because of their neglect both of these children committed suicide.”

Justin Dye had previously tried to commit suicide and doctors had told them taking medication was imperative and not having access to weapons was part of the safety plan.His family however allowed him to go off medication and kept a loaded gun in a drawer that was unlocked. This eventually led to Justin using that gun to take a bullet to his heart.

“The safety plan called for them to not have a gun accessible to him. If you have a three-year-old walking around the house you don’t leave a loaded gun on a coffee table. You know a three-year-old is gonna grab it. Same difference even though he is fifteen his mental state was not to have any weapons accessible to him,” said Sheriff Hieatt.

Authorities say that the living conditions Kayla was in were not habitable. You couldn’t even walk through the house without stepping on a beer can. Kayla Hodges didn’t even have the privacy of using the bathroom because there wasn’t a bathroom door. She lived in these conditions with her father and fathers sexual partner who he referred to as mom. Kayla spent hours on the internet trying to escape this reality.

Both families blamed the school and started a narrative about bullying. The families were claiming they wanted justice and today it seems like justice was finally served.

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can Follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com