Authorities interviewed Elwyn Crocker Sr., who turned 49 on Christmas Day and was recently temporarily employed as a Santa at a nearby Walmart. The girl, Mary, was initially thought to be with her mother in SC, according to the AJC. Neither of the children were ever reported missing.
McDuffie said his office received a 911 tip from a caller that Mary Crocker hadn't been seen since October and that the tipster feared she was dead. Wright's boyfriend, 55-year-old Roy Anthony Prater was also arrested. Coroner David Exley said part of the reason why cause of death won't be known for some time is because the children have themselves been buried for some time. Candice and Wright were both charged with concealing the death of another and cruelty to children in the first degree.
The other adults in the home - the children's stepmother, Candice Crocker, 33, and Kim Wright, 50, the children's step-grandmother - were also charged with cruelty to children in the first degree and concealing the death of another. The family had been reported to the Division of Family and Children Services before.
Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie told of his horror at the discovery, telling the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: 'I've been doing this 41 years, and a while ago I nearly broke down in tears.
Not only did they find Mary, but they found Elwyn Jr., who hadn't been seen since November 2016 but had never been reported missing. A child who has special needs was found at the home and taken to the hospital for observation. I can not understand how you do children like this. Prater is facing an additional drug possession charge. "Information from Elwyn Crocker led investigators to search the grounds of the home and two bodies were discovered buried".
A Georgia father of two is charged with being connected to their deaths.
The town of Guyton was described by the newspaper as "an old farming community, home to fewer than 2,000 people".
The four remain in Effingham County Jail without bond. Effingham County Sheriff's Office stated their only interactions with the household involved complaints about their pit bulls.
Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie said neighbors only approached the investigators with their concerns something was "wrong" in the home when they were already on the scene and digging, and implored those with similar concerns to come forward sooner.
Authorities are attempting to get in touch with the biological mother of Mary and Elwyin Jr. believed to be living in SC. Both students were moved into the homeschool program upon withdrawal.