Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Mother's Heartbreak

No word, but regret seems to sum up what happened to Mary Hider.

"I thought my kids were in good hands," said Hider, 40, as tears ran down her cheek. "I wanted them to have a better life than I could give them."

She's the biological mother of Dylan Levy Bennett and Austen Jean Bennett.

Hider relinquished custody of her two sons in the late 1990s after allegations of neglect surfaced.
In 2000, Edward and Linda Bryant adopted them. But, within a couple years, something happened - the young brothers vanished.

"Whether I bring them home or I have to bury them, I want to see them again," Hider said.

Austin and Dylan's story starts in a small northeastern Oklahoma town along Route 66. The boys were born in Vinita, which lies half way between Tulsa and Joplin.

But their mom moved them out to Colorado in the late 1990s. Authorities there took them away after the neglect allegations that included Hider sleeping while the boys were awake. Hider said her attorney told her she could not beat the case, so she signed away her rights.

KENS 5's sister station, WFAA News 8, tried to confirm the details of why Hider lost custody, but the circumstances of the case were sealed by courts, said Bradd Hafer, public information coordinator in El Paso County, Colorado.

Hider said Dylan played soccer growing up. He was also hyper and eventually diagnosed with ADHD.
Austen, later renamed Austin by the Bryants, had a speech impediment.

He wore glasses and Hider said she affectionately referred to him as her "little Einstein."

But, last month, the Bryants' other adopted children revealed a family secret, according to an affidavit released by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office in Colorado Springs.

The kids claim their parents tortured Austin, locked him in a trunk and even shocked him with a Taser, the affidavit stated.

"I try to be strong for my sister and try to keep her spirit up that maybe they will find them, but I don't feel that," said Jessica Dawn Moore, the boys' aunt.

In March, deputies arrested Ed and Linda Bryant in Denton and Gainesville where they now live. The couple was extradited back to Colorado Springs and face a preliminary hearing next month.

The Bryants have not been charged with Austin and Dylan's disappearance, but rather for continuing to collect a state stipend for the boys while they weren't in their custody. [UN-F*$king believable!! The missing money is more important than the welfare of the children they were entrusted with and being paid to care for!!!]

The Bryants also deny harming the brothers. In the affidavit, Linda Bryant said they ran away. It was one of several stories she told investigators. [Yeah, right...they ran away but their disappearance wasn't reported until one of the other adopted kids spilled the beans!]

One of them caused U.S. Marshals to track down Hider in rural Oklahoma this week.

"The last thing [Linda Bryant] told them was, 'I think they're in Oklahoma with their biological mother,'" Hider said.

The last time she saw them was 1999. No one has heard from the boys since 2001 and 2003. That's what haunts Hider.

Photos and video here.

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