A Georgia father, stepmother, and grandmother were arrested after the bodies of two children who were believed to be missing were found buried at their home Thursday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Deputies had been investigating the disappearance of 14-year-old Mary Crocker, who had not been seen in months. The local sheriff received a tip that the girl was dead. Deputies previously believed she had gone to live with her biological mother in South Carolina.
After interviewing Mary’s father, 49-year-old Elwyn Crocker Sr., police began searching the grounds around the home and discovered what they believe to be Mary’s body along with the body of her brother, Elwyn Crocker Jr., who was 14 years old when he was last seen in November 2016.
Police charged Elwyn Crocker St., his 33-year-old wife Candice Crocker, and her 50-year-old mother Kim Wright with child cruelty and concealing a death.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Family Never Reported The Children Missing
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Mary Crocker, 14, has not been seen since October.
Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie said in a news conference that police received a tip that Mary may be dead. Deputies previously believed that the girl had run away to live with her mother in South Carolina. The mother is believed to be homeless.
Police also found the body of a boy, believed to be Mary’s brother Elwyn Crocker Jr. The boy was 14 years old when he was last seen in November 2016.
Police have not confirmed that the bodies found buried at the home were the children but preliminary information suggests that it was Mary and Elwyn.
Autopsies are underway and a cause of death has not yet been determined.
2. Bodies Believed to Be Missing Daughter and Son
McDuffie said at a news conference that neither child had been reported missing.
Police received a call from a concerned neighbor who said that Mary had not been seen since October. The caller believed that Mary was dead.
According to the sheriff, the children were at one point enrolled in Effingham County schools but Mary was pulled out to be homeschooled.
“Mary Crocker and Elwyn Crocker, Jr were both formerly enrolled in the Effingham County School System,” the school district said in a statement. “Mary was last enrolled in our system during the 2017-2018 school year as a 6th-grade student at Effingham County Middle School. Elwyn, Jr was last enrolled through January 2014 as a 6th-grade student at South Effingham Middle School. The information on record indicates that both students transferred to a homeschool program at the time of withdrawal.”
Investigators said that the family gave conflicting information, which prompted them to begin digging in the backyard.
3. Candice Crocker, Elwyn Crocker and Kim Wright Charged With Concealing a Death
Elwyn Crocker, 49, his wife Candice, 33, and her mother Kim Wright, 50, were charged with concealing a death and cruelty to children in the first degree.
Police said more charges are likely coming.
“This is an ongoing investigation,” McDuffie said. “More charges could be forthcoming.”
“I’ve been doing this 41 years, and a while ago I almost broke down in tears,” McDuffie told reporters. “It’s that bad. I cannot understand how you do children like this. It’s horrible.”
4. Police Later Arrested Wright’s Boyfriend, Roy Prater
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Wright’s boyfriend, 55-year-old Roy Anthony Prater, has since been arrested in connection to the deaths.
Prater was charged with concealing a death, cruelty to children in the first degree and possession of a controlled substance.
5. A Third Child Was Removed From The Home By Police
Police said another child who was in the home, Elwyn Crocker’s child from another woman, was removed from the home and taken to a hospital.
McDuffie would not release his name or age but said the boy has special needs. He appeared to be okay, McDuffie said.