The bodies of two children were found buried in the back yard of their father's home. The father until recently played Santa at a Walmart in South Georgia.
A tip led deputies to search the home of Elwyn Crocker for his two children, Elwyn Crocker Jr. 14, who disappeared two years ago, and Mary, 14, who was last seen in October. The original intent was a welfare check, and police became even more suspicious when all the adults gave conflicting stories of where Mary was at.
Their search ended with the discovery of the missing children's graves which were located behind their father's house. The reason for their death still remains undetermined. The family lives in Guyton, a small town just north of Savannah, Georgia.
The children had been withdrawn from Effingham County schools for homeschooling, and neither had been reported missing.
Elwyn Crocker, 50, his wife Candice, 33, her mother Kim Wright, 50 and her boyfriend, Anthony Prater, 55 were all arrested on charges of concealing a death and child cruelty. They are being held without bond.
The family had prior reports to the Division of Family and Children Services, and a special needs child was found alive in the home. The deceased children's mother is homeless and lives in South Carolina.
The police are still trying to figure out how one of the children could be missing for two years without anyone asking questions about his whereabouts.
Sheriff’s investigators say Mary Frances Crocker, 14, had been dead for roughly two months when a tip brought them in December 2018 to her father’s mobile home. They also unearthed the remains of Mary’s older brother, Elwyn Crocker Jr., who also had been 14 when last seen about two years earlier.
Mary had been starved, beaten and kept bound and naked in a dog crate as punishment by her father and stepfamily before she died, sheriff’s investigator Abby Brown testified at a court hearing in 2020. Indictments that followed said Elwyn Jr. had suffered similar treatment.
UPDATE March 2022
In October, 20201, Elwyn Crocker Sr., Kim Wright and Mark Wright all faced murder charges with potentially the death penalty being imposed.
Candice Crocker who also faced a death sentence if convicted pled guilty with a sentence of life without parole. Roy Prater, the boyfriend of Candice Crocker's mother also pled guilty to murder and other counts, but has not been sentenced.
Charges against the defendants included malice murder, felony murder, aggravated sexual battery, cruelty to children, concealing the death of another and false imprisonment.
Stranger Than Fiction Stories by M.P. Pellicer