Edward Dylan Bryant has not been seen since 2001, when he would have been 9-years-old. His adopted brother Austin Eugene Bryant has not been seen since 2003 to 2005, when he would have been 7-years-old. Investigators in Colorado have now arrested Edward and Austin’s adoptive parents, Edward and Linda Bryant, charging them with various offenses to include multiple counts of felony theft, conspiracy, and forgery. They are current held on $1m bail each.
Apparently the Bryant’s legally adopted both boys, as well as other children, and received monthly financial subsidies from the government in the range of $350 to $1,000+ for each adopted child. In 2007 the Bryants, including Edward who indicated he was an electric engineer technician and Linda, who indicated she was a housewife, listed a total of over $126,000 in adoption monies as just part of their income for 2005-2006. They also listed eight sons, ages 7-15 and an 87-year-old mother as their dependents. The problem is that at least Edward and his brother Austin have not been seen in almost 10 years, allegedly being home schooled by their adoptive parents during that time.
For now, the two boys have apparently been invisible for the past decade, with no one responsible to look after their well being, no agency charged with insuring they were being cared for, no organization told to insure that home schooling meant they were actually studying, much less alive. You see, after someone goes through the various checks required of potential adoptive parents, usually some sort of state mandated pre-investigation that can include parenting classes, a home survey and a criminal check, there is little to no follow up once the adoption becomes official. They are your children and you are apparently free to love and support, or abuse and even murder them without any oversight by any local or state agency.
Evidently in mid January 2011, someone finally questioned the whereabouts of Austin. When an investigation was initiated, not only was Austin unaccounted for for the past eight years, Edward was also found to be similarly unaccounted for for the past 10 years. The boy’s adoptive parents, Edward (58) and (54), by now had moved from Colorado to Texas, where they were living apart. Both have been extradited back to Colorado where authorities state that no missing person report has ever been filed concerning the two missing boys. They were not on anyone’s radar; therefore for all practical purposes they were invisible. Now we know their names, but apparently only their adopted parents know what happened to them.
This is a system that defies reason. Depending on the agency providing the statistics, somewhere between 50,000 and 120,000 children are adopted every year, with 100,000 awaiting adoption. Just last month John and Sonja Kluth from Yukon, Oklahoma, were arrested and charged with child abuse and neglect for allegedly beating their three adopted children (ages 15, 11 and 9) and feeding them dog and cat food. The two adoptive parents allegedly used a horsewhip on the children while telling then to “take it like a slave.” The 9-year-old girl said her mother would bang their heads on doors, walls and bathroom countertops while one of her brothers indicated his disfigured fingers were the result of being struck with a mallet. The abuse had allegedly gone on for at least five years, this while the Kluths continued to collect $1,500 per child from their state agency for the “care” of the children.
By most standards the Kluths and, perhaps, the Bryants are subhuman. To treat children, especially vulnerable adopted children who have no one to turn to, nowhere to hide in such a manner should, if true, put the offenders behind bars for life. But that will be left for the investigators and the courts to decide. Meanwhile children, both natural and adopted, continue to be abused across this country while thousands of otherwise loving and caring couples are made to wait years for their turn to adopt a child into their family. And the invisible children; they continue to go unseen and unprotected.
In the case of Edward and Linda Bryant, investigators will try to interview the couple in an attempt to determine the whereabouts and disposition of the two now missing boys. They will hope to compare the stories told by the Bryants, and follow up on any information that suggests neighbors or others had seen the two boys, or that the missing boys ever saw a doctor or dentist, or bought clothing, or otherwise somehow continued to exist for the past decade. And, in the meanwhile, these same investigators will attempt to determine the status of the other children who were being raised by the Bryants. What other terrible secrets might they uncover?
For more information concerning personal and family safety and security, to obtain a free copy of our DVD "Protecting Children from Predators," and to find out the identity and location of sex offenders in your community, go to www.LiveSecure.org.