A one-time Air Force sergeant cleared of charges in the death of her infant son is on track to be reunified with her daughter, who at the age of nine days was severely beaten by her father while the family was living in Kapolei, according to the woman’s lawyer.
The state Department of Human Services had sought to terminate the parental rights of Natasha Beyer, despite the fact that a military judge last year found her not guilty of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment in the death of her son.
But after a two-day trial before a Family Court judge in Honolulu this month, the state dropped its petition to terminate Beyer’s parental rights, according to her attorney, Michael Glenn.
“They have no proof she ever harmed her child,” Glenn said.
The attorney declined to answer several questions about the case, citing Family Court confidentiality. But asked what comes next, he replied, “The next step would be reunification.”
He said Beyer, whose current whereabouts he would not disclose, is pleased by the decision.
The Child Welfare Services division of DHS did not respond to a request to confirm that the state had dropped its effort to terminate Beyer’s parental rights and to discuss the reasons for the department’s actions.
It’s unclear whether Beyer and her husband, Caleb Humphrey, who was convicted of assaulting their infant daughter, are still married, or what that would mean if Beyer were to regain custody of the girl, who is now 4 years old.
Beyer and Humphrey were based at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in 2016, when Beyer gave birth to a son, Grayson.
The infant was just short of a month old when the couple brought him to Tripler Army Medical Center, limp and unresponsive.
Grayson was suffering from bleeding in the brain and skull, which a Tripler autopsy attributed to the herpes simplex virus. Both mother and child had tested for an antibody of the virus, which can cause those symptoms, although the infant did not show evidence of an active infection. Grayson died two weeks later and the manner of death was classified as natural.
A little more than a year later, Beyer and Humphrey appeared at Tripler with another newborn, Avaline, who had been born nine days earlier. Tests showed that Avaline had suffered bruising on her face, a skull fracture, brain bleeding, rib fractures and bone lesions.
These signs of abuse led officials to revisit the case of Grayson from a year earlier. They discovered that, in addition to the brain bleeding, his ribs had been fractured and he had bleeding in the retinas, a classic sign of abuse. Grayson’s death was reclassified as a homicide caused by blunt force trauma to the head.
Beyer and Humphrey were both court-martialed. In February 2020, Humphrey was found guilty of aggravated assault and child endangerment in his daughter’s injuries and was sentenced to three years in prison. He got a dishonorable discharge, forfeited all pay and allowances and was demoted to the lowest rank.
In October, Beyer was acquitted of the charges involving her son Grayson. That means that no one has been convicted of any crime related to the infant’s death.
A spokeswoman for Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam said that Beyer did not show up in a search of personnel records, indicating she was no longer on active duty status. Her LinkedIn profile states that she is a geospatial analyst with the Air Force, located in San Antonio, Texas.
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