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Colo. parents Edward and Linda Bryant abused one of their missing adopted boys, according to another brother

Adopted kids missing 10 years
Austin Eugene Bryant and Edward Dylan Bryant
El Paso County Sheriff's Office
(CBS/AP)COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Investigators have learned that one of two Colorado boys who had been missing for years before it was reported was denied food, spanked, forced to run up and down stairs and rolled up tightly in blankets as punishment in the home of Edward and Linda Bryant, the boys' adoptive parents.

Austin Eugene Bryant and his biological brother Edward Dylan Bryant disappeared from their adoptive parents' home in Monument, Colo., by late 2003, according to police. Austin would have been 7 and Edward 11 at the time.

The couple who adopted them, Edward Bryant, 58, and Linda Bryant, 54, have been arrested on charges of receiving nearly $175,000 in government payments to support the boys, even though they weren't living with the couple for most of the decade.

Linda Bryant told investigators that she did not kill the boys and denied most of the abuse allegations. She did admit to forcing the boys to exercise and withholding food, which she described as "delaying food," according to an affidavit.

Deputies are now concentrating on trying to find the boys, with the focus starting in the Bryants' former hometown, Monument.

The parents gave conflicting accounts of when they last saw the boys. The Bryants lived in Colorado at the time when they said the boys ran away in 2003, but they didn't file a missing persons report.

Investigations started Jan. 22 when authorities were approached by Ricky and Bryan Pennington, brothers who were once foster children of Linda Bryant's biological daughter. They contacted investigators when they, too, were confused by Edward and Linda's story.

Investigators were able to contact James Bryant, one of the missing boys' other adopted brothers. It was James who described in detail Austin's abuse. Bryan Pennington also acknowledges seeing Austin being rolled up in blankets in order to restrain him for "extended periods of time."

The Bryants claim the technique was suggested to them by a therapist, the affidavit said.

Bryan Pennington also told investigators that Austin had claimed he'd been shot by a stun gun and even sometimes been placed in a trunk.

Linda Bryant was arrested Feb. 25 in Lake Kiowa, Texas. Edward Bryant was arrested the same day in Denton, Texas, where he works.

Both were extradited to Colorado on March 4 and are being held in the El Paso County jail on charges including theft, forgery and falsified documents. They have not been charged in the boys' disappearances.

Bail was set at $1million for each.

More on Crimesider
March 10, 2011 - Colo. parents Edward and Linda Bryant arrested, adopted sons missing for years, say cops

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