Brandy and Thomas Blasse have been identified as the foster parents of 10-year-old Geanna Bradley.
Brandy Kanani Blas is 35 years old & her husband, Thomas Adam Blas is 40 years old.
Brandy, Thomas Blasse and Debra D. Geron, Brandy’s mother, were arrested at 6:15 a.m. at their home at 33 Karsten Drive.
What happened & why were they arrested.
Brandy, Thomas Blasse and Debra D. Geron, Brandy’s mother were arrested Friday and accused of a horrific cycle of abuse and starvation that included binding Geanna Bradley with duct tape and confining her to a small porch area.
Child welfare advocates questioned whether state officials should have discovered the abuse sooner, especially considering the legal guardians, Brandy and Thomas Blas, had a 4-year-old adopted son who police said also showed signs of abuse.
The 4-year-old as well as the Blas’ four biological children ages 14, 10, 5 and 3, who all lived at 33 Karsten Drive, were placed in the custody of Child Welfare Services, according to police.
The Blases and Brandy’s mother, Debra Garon, were charged with second-degree murder, kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment.
Department of Human Services spokeswoman Amanda Stevens said in a statement that the department had received no reports of abuse since the child was placed with the family under legal guardianship until Honolulu police found the body on Jan. 18 while responding to a call at the house. Stevens did not name Geanna or give more details in her statement.
The legal status of the two children allegedly abused is still hazy. It matters because, depending on the answer, the state may have been responsible for screening the household for safety or checking up on the children periodically to make sure they were OK.
Officials said Friday that the Blases were the “legal guardians” of Geanna. But the couple also were getting state payment for her care. That could happen if they were foster parents or, under certain circumstances, had adopted the girl.
Authorities said the 4-year-old boy had been adopted by the Blases. But they did not specify if he was adopted out of the foster system.
If so, Family Court judges would have needed to approve both the foster placement and the adoption. Often the court follows the recommendations of CWS, which would have been heavily involved in removing the child, finding a placement and recommending a permanent solution in the best interests of the child.
Prolonged Abuse And Starvation
“We mourn the loss of this child with the community,” CWS spokeswoman Amanda Stevens wrote. “As always, CWS asks everyone to take part in reporting what you hear, what you see, even what you sense, if you suspect abuse or neglect.”
Thomas and Brandy Blas were appointed legal guardians on Oct. 8, 2018, and their paperwork was signed by Family Court Judge Bode Uale on Oct. 10, 2018, according to documents filed by prosecutors Friday in First Circuit Court in Honolulu. Geanna had been living with the Blases for eight years.