I have written about Austin and Edward Bryant, two biological brothers who were adopted out of foster care in Colorado. They disappeared — apparently separately — and no one’s sure when or how. Their adoptive “parents” never reported them missing. Just like in the Adam Herrman case. Actually, the similarities are striking:
- In both cases, the boys’ foster parents adopted them
- There were other children in both homes
- Adam was “homeschooled” and so was Austin, not sure about Edward
- There are serious allegations of abuse in both the Bryant and the Herrman homes
- The parents got state benefits for the children, which they continued to collect long after the disappearances
- Years passed before the boys were reported missing
- In both cases the parents provided conflicting stories to explain the disappearances before the boys were reported missing
- After the missing persons reports were filed, both Adam’s parents and Edward and Austin’s parents told the police they ran away from home
- Both sets of parents were charged in connection with all the benefits they took after the boys were no longer living with them
- And, of course, in both cases foul play is suspected
Anyway, this week Edward and Austin Bryant’s mother, Linda, pleaded guilty to theft, conspiracy to commit theft, and attempting to influence a public servant. She faces 4 to 648 years in prison, depending on whether her sentences will run concurrently or consecutively. Sentencing is on March 30. I hope it runs to the high end, if only so the authorities will have time to find out what happened to the boys.
If they are alive — and I think it’s extremely unlikely — Edward would be 19 today and Austin would be 15. But they’ve probably both been dead for years.