Family arrested after two siblings who went missing two years apart were found killed and buried in their own backyard
Investigators determined the family members were giving detectives conflicting information.The statements of the father, Elwyn Crocker, led them to believe he was hiding something
A tip about a missing 14-year-old Georgia girl led sheriff's deputies to uncover the teen's body in the backyard of her own home. But what officers did not expect to find next to her was the body of her 14-year-old brother, who had gone missing more than two years ago. According to a press release by the Effingham County Sheriff's Office, deputies received a tip late on the night of Wednesday, December 19, pertaining to 14-year-old Mary Crocker who was believed to be missing and feared dead.
Just after 10 pm the same night, sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the 400 block of Rosebud Place, Guyton, to check on the welfare of Mary, who it turned out had not been seen for weeks. When deputies questioned all the adult family members at the residence, they were informed that the teen had gone to live with her mother.
However, investigators determined the family members were giving detectives conflicting information. The statements of the father, 49-year-old Elwyn Crocker, led them to believe he was hiding something at the home and proceeded to search the grounds, gruesomely discovering two bodies buried just inside the woodline.
An autopsy determined that the bodies belonged to Mary and her 14-year-old brother Elwyn Crocker Jr., the latter of whom had not been seen or heard from since November 2016. A third child who was found to be living at the home was transported to the local hospital and kept under observation.
A missing person report had not been filed concerning either of the teens. The father, who Time reported had recently worked as a Walmart Santa, was subsequently arrested and charged with concealing the death of another and cruelty to children in the first degree. The mother, 33-year-old Candice Crocker, and step-grandmother, 50-year-old Kim Wright, were also arrested and similarly charged with concealing the death of another and cruelty to children in the first degree.
Speaking about the case, Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie told reporters, "I’ve been doing this 41 years, and a while ago I almost broke down in tears. It’s that bad. I cannot understand how you do children like this. It’s horrible."
The investigation continued after the arrest of the trio and led to the apprehension of a fourth person the next day. 55-year-old Roy Anthony Prater, who is said to be the step-grandmother's boyfriend, was arrested and charged with concealing the death of another, cruelty to children in the first degree, and possession of a scheduled or controlled substance.
All four suspects have already made their first appearance in court and have been denied bond. The cause of the children's death is currently unclear and authorities said more charges will be forthcoming depending on the determination and matter of death.