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Iowa family accused of abusing special needs man

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James Beyer - Rebecca Beyer - Ryan Smith (photos from Pottawattamie County Jail)

An Iowa father, stepmother and adult stepbrother are accused of physically abusing a 20-year-old man with special needs.

The investigation began after the victim was found in February 2013 wandering barefoot in the snow.  He was taken to a homeless shelter in Council Bluffs, Iowa and reportedly told authorities he was repeatedly abused by his family.

Investigators said the victim has scars consistent with reports of his stepmother, 45-year-old Rebecca Beyer, burning him with silverware she heated in the flame of a gas stove.   The victim was also reportedly restrained with a short dog leash in the garage of the family’s home, sometimes overnight.   The short length of the leash forced him to try to sleep standing up.  The victim also reported being hit by his parents numerous times with a cord or a belt.

Rebecca Beyer, 41-year-old James Beyer and 22-year-old Ryan Smith are each charged with felony first-degree kidnapping.  Rebecca Beyer is also charged with willful injury.

Court records show all three suspects were arrested June 18, 2013 in Council Bluffs.  They were held in the Pottawattamie County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond each.  They were each appointed a public defender and next due in court for preliminary hearings July 1.