MP of the week: Edward Bryant

This week’s featured missing persons case is Edward Dylan Bryant, an boy who was about eight when he was last seen sometime in 2001. He and his biological brother, Austin Eugene Bryant, had been adopted out of foster care by Edward Eugene Bryant and Linda Kay Bryant in 2000. The couple adopted nine children in all, including Austin and Edward’s younger brother. They lived in Monument, Colorado.

Austin disappeared sometime between 2003 and 2005, but his disappearance was not discovered until 2011. Only after then did the authorities realize Edward was missing also. Neither of them has ever been found.

It’s an extremely sad story and it’s likely both children met with foul play at the hands of their “parents.” The Bryant parents have never been charged in either child’s disappearance, but they were each sentenced to decades in prison for theft, since they accepted public assistance payments for Edward and Austin after the boys had disappeared.

I haven’t seen any updates on the case since 2012, when Linda was sentenced to 42 years in prison. (Her husband got 30 years.) I hope the police haven’t given up on finding out what happened to those poor boys.

At last, an update in the Bryant boys’ cases

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:

  1. In both cases, the boys’ foster parents adopted them
  2. There were other children in both homes
  3. Adam was “homeschooled” and so was Austin, not sure about Edward
  4. There are serious allegations of abuse in both the Bryant and the Herrman homes
  5. The parents got state benefits for the children, which they continued to collect long after the disappearances
  6. Years passed before the boys were reported missing
  7. In both cases the parents provided conflicting stories to explain the disappearances before the boys were reported missing
  8. 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
  9. Both sets of parents were charged in connection with all the benefits they took after the boys were no longer living with them
  10. 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.

MP news roundup from around the world

KPVI News has run a story on Jon Clair Barrett, who’s been missing from Idaho since 2008. It looks like this will be first in a series on Idaho missing persons.

A body found in Dixie County, Florida in 1976 has been identified as James Berkeley Norris II, age 24, who’d been missing since 1974. It looks like he was killed shortly after his family last heard from him.

The Texas House of Representatives has passed a bill mandating an Amber Alert for mentally disabled missing adults. Right now, the Amber Alert applies only for children 17 and under. The bill must be passed by the Senate and signed by the governor before it becomes law.

There are now AP photos of Edward Bryant and Austin Bryant, Colorado’s versions of Adam Herrman. The press is now speculating openly about murder, and the police admit they don’t have much hope of finding the children alive. Edward would now be 18, and Austin would be 15.

The body of Allen Lee Mosier, who disappeared from a Native American reservation in Washington in 2006, has been located in Shelton, Washington. A tree-thinning crew found him. The cause of death hasn’t been determined and the police haven’t said whether they suspect foul play. Mosier was 32 years old.

And down in Australia, some suspects have been named in the 1978 disappearance of Trudie Adams, who was 18.

There’s an article about Lamarst Alexander Porter Jr., an 18-year-old who was abducted and shot in 2003. His body was never found but evidence at the kidnap scene indicates he was almost certainly killed. Who abducted him, and why, remains a mystery. The article doesn’t really say anything new, but it’s good that this strange case got some more publicity.

The same paper also did an article on Kala Nwana, whose non-custodial mother took him to Cameroon in 2003. He was a year old at the time. According to the article, Kala’s mom returned to the US a month later without him; she apparently left him with relatives in the city of Douala. There hasn’t been any news of him since 2005. Cameroon is on the west coast in sub-Saharan Africa. It’s a very poor country without good health care. Kala apparently developed a growth on his head after he arrived there, and his father’s side of the family has a history of brain tumors and polyps.

I was sent this month-old article about Taj Narbonne. It provides many additional details about his disappearance. I wish the authorities had looked harder at his stepfather back when he disappeared in 1981. The case will be that much harder to solve now, if they can do it at all.

Written up the Bryant case

I have written Austin and Edward Bryant’s casefiles for posting on Charley later today, and I am feeling sick at heart. It’s a very sordid story. It’s baby farming: their so-called parents adopted NINE children and collected government subsidies to the tune of $120,000 a year. They abused Austin, at least, rather horribly. They admit that when the boys disappeared — at the ages of seven and nine, approximately — they deliberately didn’t report it because they wanted to keep the money coming.

And I’m sure that’s not all that they’ve done.

AND no one bothered to report it for ages. I’m sure quite a few people — adults — must have been aware of the abuse, at least, if not the children’s disappearances, but no one did a damn thing about it.

I wonder about the adoption authorities in Colorado, too. So they weren’t supposed to keep checking on the boys after they had been adopted — I can understand that. But didn’t somebody stop to think that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea for a couple to adopt nine kids, most or all of them with special needs? That they probably wouldn’t be able to handle it? Even good, loving parents with the best intentions would probably find themselves overwhelmed. It seems like there ought to be a limit to how many children you’re allowed to adopt. I don’t know. It just seems like somebody dropped the ball.

I don’t get it. I’ve studied this extensively, read about it, basically devoted my life to it. But I still do not understand why people can be so cruel and callous to each other.

My heart bleeds for those two boys.

What’s going on in MP news

I took a short break from Charley, and the internet in general. I didn’t even go on my computer for like two days. And then this morning I logged on to find like 87 emails. Most of them, fortunately, didn’t merit immediate attention.

The missing-for-a-decade-but-not-reported-till-now Bryant children have an NCMEC poster now. I suppose I will add them to Charley then. They will be part of a relatively exclusive group — very few children on Charley were missing for years without anyone telling the police. Austin and Edward Bryant make two more.

There’s an article on Fred Charles Moseley, who disappeared from Canyon, Texas in 1998, at the age of seventeen. He might have been a runaway, but the circumstances of his disappearance are kind of weird, and in any case it’s highly unusual for a runaway to go without contact for this long. He would be 30 years old today.

There’s also an article on John Leonard Adams, whose case I resolved a few weeks ago. (You can find him on Resolved Cases 71.) I wrote about John before. He had schizophrenia and, like many of those so afflicted, drifted away from his family. He was identified earlier this month as a John Doe in Pennsylvania. I hadn’t heard before how he died, though. The article says his death was apparently an accident; he was hit by a train. At least it was quick, is all I can say, and at least he wasn’t murdered.

The Las Cruces Sun-News has done an article on Victor Trejo, who was 14 when he disappeared from there in 1986. He belonged to a gang and the authorities believe he probably met with foul play, but it’s possible he just ran away and is alive somewhere.

There’s an anniversary article about Taj Narbonne, who disappeared 30 years ago today. I always took somewhat more of an interest in Taj than other cases because he comes from Leominster, Massachusetts, home of the great author-god Robert Cormier. Anyway, the article has lots of new information. The police are looking really hard on his stepdad, who was abusive to Taj and definitely a violent individual, but the investigation is stymied for lack of evidence.

(Thanks to Jamie for sending me those articles.)

Sad developments

This article in the Chicago Tribune details the life and troubles of Yasmin Acree (I have to change her name spelling), with a lot of information that hadn’t been previously made public. Yasmin suffered a lot of abuse, including sexual abuse, and she acted out sexually as a result. It sounds like a lot of people failed her, not the least many of her own relatives. In any case this isn’t an ordinary teen girl as she was initially characterized in news reports. I had had my suspicions that she might be more troubled than the news let on; few teens who spent years in foster care function as well as Yasmin was said to.

Meanwhile, the father of Wallace Guidroz, missing since 1983, has stabbed his wife to death in Louisiana and then drove around for awhile with the body in the backseat before he decided to go to the police and confess. He’s charged with second-degree murder. (The dead woman is not Wallace’s mother. Wallace’s mother died in 1997.) Of course, the murder charges don’t necessarily mean Stanley Guidroz had something to do with his little boy’s disappearance nearly 30 years ago, but you do have to wonder. I don’t know if he was considered a suspect in Wallace’s case or not, but he was the last person to see him. If Wallace is alive, he will be 31 years old on March 24. If anything good can come out of the murder, it’s that Wallace’s case is getting a little more publicity. His disappearance has been sadly neglected in the media and he doesn’t even have an NCMEC poster.

And of course I must mention the case everyone’s probably heard about by now: two children who, like Adam Herrman, were missing for years before their disappearances were reported. Their names are Austin and Edward Bryant. The similarities between the Bryant case and the Herrman case are uncanny. Let us list them:

1. Adam was adopted along with two biological siblings; Austin and Edward are biological brothers who were also adopted.
2. The Bryants and the Herrmans both claim their missing adopted sons “ran away.”
3. The adoptive parents continued to accept benefits for the children for years after the children were no longer living with them; the Bryants are said to have collected $174,000 over the years.
4. Both the Bryants and the Herrmans have thus far only faced theft charges and no charges related to the actual disappearance of the children.
5. There was apparently severe abuse of the children, witnessed by many members of the family who did nothing about it.
6. The parents claim the children were mentally ill and that some of the abusive treatment of them was recommended by mental health professionals. A psychiatrist supposedly told the Herrmans to keep Adam locked up in the bathroom; a therapist allegedly told the Bryants to wrap Austin in a blanket like a burrito and keep him in this position for extended periods.

I’m not buying it. Any of it. Neither is anyone else.

I think I said earlier on my blog that I was sure there are more Adam Herrmans out there. I’m sorry to be proven right. I really don’t know what else to say about it.

I will of course add the Bryant children to Charley. I don’t think I’ll do it today, though. I’m in Fort Wayne and once again Michael has no internet access in his apartment. I’m typing this in the library. I hope to be able to at least update some cases today.

As for me… I am very tired. Had a miserable night last night. I was exhausted, incredibly sleepy, too sleepy to really do anything, but I could not sleep. I tossed and turned trying to find a good position, I lay very still with my eyes closed and counted up to 200 and back down to 1, I tried moving from the bed to the living room couch and then back to the bed again, etc etc, but nothing worked. I didn’t fall asleep finally till about 7:00 a.m., then I woke up at ten.