Knaus Berry Farm temporarily closed over the weekend after the owner of the beloved Miami institution, best known for its cinnamon buns and strawberry milkshakes, was allegedly beaten by her son. She currently remains in critical condition.
Rachel Knaus Grafe was found at home on Friday, February 17, beaten unconscious with a large flashlight, according to NBC 6. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue airlifted her to Jackson South hospital, where she remains in critical condition with multiple injuries to her head and chest but is showing “slight improvement,” according to Instagram. Her son Travis Grafe has been arrested for the beating and currently faces charges including attempted first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated battery, and one count of domestic violence.
According to the Miami Herald, Grafe went to a neighbor's home after the alleged beating and told the man that he’d killed his mother and was arrested shortly after. Herbert Grafe, Rachel Knaus Grafe’s husband, was found by detectives at Jackson South with a head injury that same evening but told them he didn’t know how he got hurt because he had lost consciousness.
This isn’t Travis Grafe’s first encounter with the law. In 2013, he was arrested on multiple charges, including bomb possession and aggravated battery on a police officer, which was dismissed in 2019 because Grafe was ruled incompetent to stand trial and had been “incompetent for more than five years.” According to NBC, he allegedly suffered a traumatic brain injury that prompted a judge to grant his mother guardianship in 2016. In an interview with investigators, NBC reported that Grafe admitted to beating his mother because he didn't want her to be his legal guardian anymore.
Knaus Berry Farm reopened on Monday, February 20, for regular business. On their Instagram on Sunday, they sent a note appreciating the outpouring of support, saying, “Thank you for the prayers and kind words. We are overwhelmed with this communities kindness!”