After reports of a strange man walking around a Florida neighborhood and a break-in occurred at the same time, local law enforcement began checking other homes.
As PIX 11 reports, after the reports were made, police began checking to see if the man they had just arrested burglarized any other homes nearby. And that’s when they found the body of a 15-year-old boy.
Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell told the media that Khyler Edman and his 5-year-old sister were at their Florida home on September 26 when they believe the stranger entered their house.
Prummell said he thinks the teenager was protecting his younger sibling when he was killed:
“We believe the teenager was trying to protect the home and protect (his) younger sibling.”
Skip Conroy, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s department, said Edman’s sister was unharmed, but evidence reveals that the teen took part in a physical struggle. Specifics as to what led authorities to believe that have not been released.
Now the 10th grader is being remembered as a hero.
Mike Riley, a liaison for Charlotte County Public Schools, described Edman as “the kind of kid you would want to be your son.” He told CNN:
“He was polite to everyone. He laid his life down to save his baby sister and showed his community how much of a hero he was.”
Pummell said the suspect in question had a history of drug use and was on probation when he was arrested. As PIX 11 reports, on October 1, he was charged with burglary and theft charges and received bond for those charges. However, he is also being held without bail for violating his parole.
According to WPTV, the suspect, Ryan Clayton Cole, also had multiple stab wounds to his hands and his side at the time of his arrest. Cole was arrested near where the teen was found, prompting the checking of the home.
The suspect has not yet been charged with Edman’s death. Pummell says they “are working very closely with the state attorney’s office to make sure we provide the best case we can so this individual does not see the light of day again.”
A GoFundMe account has since been set up to help Edman’s family pay for a funeral. The boy is now being called his “Sister’s Keeper.” His mother wrote on the website:
On September 26th Khyler lost his life being a hero protecting his 5-year-old sister, when a man broke in our home in Port Charlotte. Please help my family at this time give Khyler a proper burial he deserves, he was only 15 years old and lost his life due to a senseless act of a stranger. My son had a long life ahead of him, that was taken too soon.
So far, over $77,000 has been raised on Khyler’s behalf.