The legal guardians of a 10-year-old girl in Hawaii were arrested on Friday and charged with murder, almost a month after the child’s suspicious death, Honolulu Police announced at a press conference.
Brandy Blas, 35, and her husband, Thomas Blas, 40, were charged with first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor, second-degree murder, kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment in connection to the death of Geanna Bradley, a child who was legally in their care. The 10-year old was found dead in her Wahiawa home on Jan. 18 from what police described as “prolonged abuse.”
Debra D. Geron, 67, lives in the same home and was charged with second-degree murder, kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment. Geron is Brandy Blas’ mother, according to Honolulu Civil Beat.
Speaking at the press conference, Honolulu police homicide Lt. Deena Thoemmes said authorities responded to a call about a 10-year-old girl in need of a defibrillator, but when they arrived they found Geanna “cold and stiff.”
Geanna’s death was initially classified as an “unattended death,” but responding officers found she had “significant injuries” and bruising over her body, Thoemmes said.
Detectives were told that four adults and six children had lived inside the home. The three suspects told responding officers that they last saw the 10-year-old going to her bedroom the night before, according to Thoemmes.
Geron told officers she found Geanna that morning cold, with no heartbeat, and attempted CPR before calling 911, Thoemmes said.
Homicide detectives were called to the home after receiving information from responding officers that Geanna had “multiple facial injuries.”
“Her eyelids appeared slightly bruised and there were road rash type injuries to her chin. Part of her nose bridge was missing,” Thoemmes said.
Investigators said the three suspects told them that Geanna sustained her nose injury from falling off her bicycle two weeks before her death. According to Thoemmes, the suspects added that Geanna was diagnosed with ADHD and they believed she suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
The suspects told investigators that Geanna would have daily tantrums where she injured herself by throwing her body to the ground.
During their investigation, detectives noticed that the Blases’ adopted 4-year-old son was “very thin” and had injuries on his arm. The children were removed from the home following this discovery, and child services opened its own investigation.
Detectives said that Geanna’s physical appearance showed signs that she was medically neglected, physically abused and fatally starved.
Thoemmes said that Geanna’s injuries were not accidental, but showed signs of repeated abuse. She noted that Geanna’s nose injuries indicated that she had sustained enough force to break her teeth.
The investigation by child services found that the Blases’ 4-year-old adopted son was suffering from “failure to thrive,” which Thoemmes said was likely from “calorie and psycho-social deprivation.”
Digital forensics found “disturbing images” on the Blases’ phones, depicting a child, believed to be Geanna, “enclosed in a small area and bound” with tape.
“The child’s arms are taped to her torso and there is duct tape wrapped around her eyes, forehead and over the top of her head,” Thoemmes said, adding that the child also suffered from injuries to her lower face.
Digital forensics also found multiple videos of “violent interactions” between Geanna and her guardians as recently as two days before she was found dead, Thoemmes said.
Investigators determined multiple causes of death, including starvation, blunt force injury due to assault and pneumonia.
It’s unclear how long the alleged abuse was happening, but Thoemmes said the Blases took Geanna in when she was 2 or 3.
In an interview with Island News, Geanna’s biological father, Gerime Bradley, told the local newspaper his last moments with his daughter were in 2016 during a supervised visit.
Bradley told the outlet that he “never had contact with the foster parents” and was unable to have any form of contact with his daughter since he said goodbye.
“It’s so sad, it hurts so bad that someone can be this evil,” Bradley told the outlet.