Son of Iconic Florida Berry Farm Owners Charged With Attempted Murder in Beating of Parents

An iconic South Florida business was closed over the weekend after its owners were badly beaten by their adult son.

Travis Grafe, 40, was charged with attempted murder, battery, and robbery after the Friday night attack on Rachel Knaus Grafe and Herbert Grafe, owners of Knaus Berry Farm, a beloved seasonal operation known for its berries and baked goods.


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Knaus Grafe was critically injured in the attack and was flown to Jackson Memorial South in critical condition. A family friend told WTVJ that Travis Grafe had tried to get money from his parents, but his mother refused.

“He beat her pretty bad — close to death — with a flashlight,” the friend said.

Police said the suspect had fled the Homestead home by the time they arrived, but they found him nearby. He was hospitalized for unknown reasons.

Knaus Berry Farm began operation in 1956 when brothers Ray and Russell Knaus set up a roadside stand to sell the strawberries they raised. The brothers added baked goods — made by Ray’s wife Barbara — and the business has seen steady growth, and the adoration that comes from being a regional icon, in the intervening years. Nowadays, the farm sells berries, vegetables, baked goods, and ice cream and has U-Pick strawberries and tomatoes when they’re available.

And Knaus Berry Farm’s signature cinnamon buns keep people lined up steadily during its seasonal open period from November through mid-April.

It’s not known when the business will reopen. Its social media pages say it’s closed for a family emergency. Rachel Knaus Grafe’s sister Susan and her husband are also owners of the business. Both are daughters of Ray Knaus.

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[Featured image: Background: Knaus Berry Farm/Google Maps. Inset: Travis Grafe/Miami-Dade Corrections]