(MONUMENT, Colo.) — The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO) is hoping to renew the public’s interest in a cold case out of Monument, in which two boys went missing and their parents continued to collect monthly payments after the boys reportedly ran away.
According to EPSO, on Jan. 22, 2011, a report was made of two children missing from a home in the 18000 block of Granite Circle in Monument, west of I-25 near Mount Herman. The boys, Austin and Edward Jr., reportedly lived in the home with their parents, Edward and Linda Bryant.
EPSO said the parents were interviewed in Texas, and investigators were lead to believe that the boys had actually run away in 2005. Edward Bryant claimed that the boys had run away on separate dates, while Linda said they ran away together.
EPSO said Edward and Linda were continuing to receive monthly payments from the Colorado Department of Human Services (DHS), due to the boys’ special needs. Both parents admitted to claiming the boys were still living with them in order to continue receiving those payments. Both were arrested on theft charges in light of this admission, EPSO said.
A year later, in January of 2012, Linda pleaded guilty to 54 felonies: four counts of theft, two counts of conspiracy to commit theft, and 48 counts of attempting to influence a public servant. She was sentenced to 42 years in prison, where she is still serving out her sentence.
Edward Bryant pleaded guilty to five similar felony charges, and nineteen other counts were dismissed. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison but is currently out on parole.
As for the location of the missing boys, EPSO said extensive searches have been conducted in Colorado, but no trace of either of them has been found. EPSO said authorities fear they may be dead.
However, new information has come to light, and the Sheriff’s office hopes renewing attention to the case might lead to information regarding the boys’ whereabouts, or their remains.
EPSO released photos of Austin and Edward Jr. when they were children, as well as age enhanced photos depicting what they may look like now:
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Austin or Edward Jr. is asked to contact EPSO at (719) 520-7777.