Palm Harbor couple under investigation for child neglect

Adam Thomas Thayer

PALM HARBOR — A 38-year-old Palm Harbor man was arrested at his home about 5:50 p.m. Jan. 7 and his 37-year-old wife was arrested about 3:28 p.m. Jan. 8 in connection with an investigation of child neglect of the couple’s twins.

Adam Thomas Thayer was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on two counts of child neglect. Bail was set at $10,000. He was released on surety bond about 3:36 a.m. Misty Mitchell-Thayer also was charged with two counts of child neglect. No subject charge report was available.

Detectives assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit began an investigation on Dec. 29 after receiving information alleging Misty and Adam Thayer were providing alcohol and marijuana to a 17-year-old female and her friends at their residence in Palm Harbor.

The 17-year-old female is a babysitter for the Thayer’s 7-year-old twin children. Adam Thayer is dean of students at Pinellas Academy for Math and Science, which is a charter school and not a traditional public school under the daily control of the Pinellas County School Board.

Through their investigation, detectives say then learned the Thayers offered and provided alcoholic beverages and marijuana to the babysitter on approximately 30 to 40 occasions over the past two years, leaving her alone to care for their two young children while she was intoxicated.

Detectives say the teen babysat for the Thayers and consumed alcoholic beverage while the couple went out to local bars and consumed alcoholic beverages themselves. The Thayers would usually return home after midnight.

The 17-year-old told detectives she consumed alcohol every time she babysat for the Thayer’s children (approximately 30-40 times) since she was 15-years-old and the children were age 5. She said she would drink to the point she would be “pretty drunk” with slurred speech and blurry vision. She also reportedly told detectives she would not have been able to appropriately care for the children in the event of an emergency due to her intoxication.

Detectives say the Thayers would allow the juvenile to drink several different types of alcoholic beverages, including vodka, whiskey and carbonated alcoholic drinks. According to the teen, on one occasion the Thayers poured her a glass of whiskey to drink before they left their home.

Detectives say in October 2020, while the teen was babysitting, she received a text message from Misty Mitchell-Thayer encouraging her to “Get drunk! Pass the f--- out!” and “If you want to smoke Adam has weed there.” Detectives say the message and other text messages were recovered from the juvenile’s cell phone.

Detectives also say they learned that on multiple occasions, the Thayers consumed alcohol and smoked marijuana with the juvenile after returning home intoxicated. Detectives determined the Thayers also permitted the babysitter to invite underage friends over to drink alcohol and knowingly allowed them to drive impaired.

Revised to add arrest and booking information for Misty Mitchell-Thayer.