PALM HARBOR – A married Palm Harbor couple has been arrested for child neglect after being accused of providing alcohol and marijuana to a 17-year-old female and her friends, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies arrested Misty Mitchell-Thayer, 37, at 3:28 a.m. Friday afternoon, a day after her husband, Adam Thayer, 38, was detained. Adam Thayer is the Dean of Students at Pinellas Academy for Math and Science, an area charter school.
According to detectives, the investigation began Dec. 29 after the Sheriff's Office received information alleging the married couple was providing alcohol and marijuana to the underage teens at their 934 Winding Oaks Drive home. The 17-year-old female is a babysitter for the couple's 7-year-old twin children.
Reports state that the Thayers offered and provided the alcohol and marijuana to the juvenile on approximately 30 to 40 occasions over the past two years, leaving her alone to care for their two children while intoxicated. The 17-year-old babysat for the Thayers and consumed alcoholic beverages while the Thayers went out to local bars, reports state. Detectives reported that the couple would usually return home after midnight.
The teenage babysitter told detectives she consumed alcohol every time she babysat for the Thayer's children, approximately 30-40 times, since she was 15. Reports state she told detectives she would be "pretty drunk," having slurred speech and blurry vision. She told detectives she would not have been able to appropriately care for the children in the event of an emergency because of her intoxication.
Reports state the Thayers would allow the teen to drink several different types of alcoholic beverages, including vodka, whiskey and carbonated alcoholic drinks. On one occasion, the Thayers reportedly poured the teen a glass of whiskey to drink before they left their home.
Detectives say in October 2020, the teen 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." These messages were sent while the teen was caring for the children alone. This and other text messages were recovered from the teen's cell phone.
Detectives also discovered that on multiple occasions the Thayers consumed alcohol and smoked marijuana with the juvenile after returning home intoxicated. Detectives determined the Thayers permitted her to invite underage friends over to drink alcohol and knowingly allowed them to drive impaired.
Detectives arrested Adam Thayer at approximately 5:50 p.m., Thursday, for two counts of child neglect. Misty Mitchell-Thayer was also charged with two counts of child neglect.