Accused Abuse Suspects Bond Out Of Pottawattamie County Jail

A husband, wife and son accused of abusing a mentally handicapped family member have bonded out of the Pottawattamie County Jail. As a condition of their bond, they are allowed no contact with the victim they are accused of abusing.

James and Rebecca Beyer, along with their son, Ryan Smith are facing charges related to abuse of a mentally handicapped adult.

All three were arrested in June and all three have since bonded out of jail.

James Beyer was released in early July, Rebecca and Ryan Smith were released on Thursday.

Horrifying reports detail a life of torture and kidnapping on Avenue C in Council Bluffs, IA. The police reports and affidavit outline alleged abuse from a family toward their special needs son.

"They would take a hot spoon, heat it up on the stove, and put it up against his skin. They have threatened to kill him several times, according to him, verbally kill him. They have also tied him up outside with a chain, and also forced him to defecate outside," said Sgt. Dave Dawson.

Police said after the alleged abuse, the victim decided to run away. When he was out on the streets, he was picked up and brought to the Joshua House, a facility for the homeless. This is where change really started to happen, when the victim opened up to the staff.

"We were asking him some questions, and he really didn't go into a lot of detail, he was just really concerned that he could stay here and he would be safe here," said Brandy Wallar, New Visions Homeless Services Program Director.

These answers to basic questions started setting off red flags for Wallar. So she made a dependent adult abuse claim with Department of Human Services.

With this report, police began an investigation. After this they arrested Rebecca Beyer, the victim's step mother, James Beyer, his biological father, and Ryan Smith, his step brother.

Beyer was arrested for first degree kidnapping and willful injury.

Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber said he feels there is enough evidence to support these claims.

"For it to be first degree kidnapping, we have got to show them it is kidnapping, but it is also kidnapping that involves torture and/or serious injury. Which in this case, our allegations are permanent scaring, as a result of some of the burns," said Wilber.

Neighbors are shocked by the news, wondering about past encounters with the victim and his family.

"How could you not know, how could you not know. I had no idea," said Pam Nightser, neighbor.

For those who knew the victim the best, it hurts even more.

"It was hard, as a mother and as a human being, to know that this horrible stuff happened to him," said Wallar.

All three are scheduled for trial in September.


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