Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism has honored Sacramento Bee photographer Renée C. Byer for her series of pictures of a man struggling to gain guardianship of his three grandchildren after the deaths of his wife and daughter.
Byer, a 2007 Pulitzer Prize winner, received the runner-up award in photojournalism for "A Grandfather's Sorrow and Love." Her photographs accompanied stories by Bee reporter Cynthia Hubert that focused on impressionist painter Don Hatfield whose wife, Janey, died of cancer.
While grieving her death, Hatfield learned that his daughter Rachel had been stabbed to death at her Cameron Park home, allegedly by her husband. Hatfield eventually won guardianship of Rachel's children, ages 9 months, 2 and 4.
A Casey news release noted that the emotion-filled photographic package showed "someone struggling to cope with unexpected, life-altering events and the challenges facing older adults who must raise their grandchildren."
First place went to April Saul of the Philadelphia Inquirer for her photographs of Camden, N.J.
The Casey Medals honor the past year's best reporting on children, youths and families in the United States. The work of hundreds of reporters, editors, photographers and producers was entered.
The Casey Medals are a project of the Journalism Center on Children and Families at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland.
Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079. Follow him on Twitter @Lindelofnews.