Family Facing Death Penalty After 2 Siblings Found Buried In Yard

EFFINGHAM COUNTY, GA — Georgia prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty for four of the five people charged in the deaths of two teenagers whose bodies were found buried behind their house in the Guyton area in December 2018.

According to The Augusta Chronicle, the biological father of the teens, Elwyn John Crocker, is facing the death penalty along with his wife, Candice Heather Crocker. She is also the stepmother of the two teen siblings, Mary Frances and Elwyn John Crocker Jr. Also facing the death penalty are Mark Anthony Wright, the brother of Candice Crocker; and Kimberly Renee Wright, Candice Crocker’s mother .

Deputies with the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office also arrested Roy Anthony Prater, 55, in connection with the teens’ deaths. Prater is Kimberly Renee Wright’s boyfriend, deputies say. He’s charged with concealing the death of another, cruelty to children in the first degree and possession of a scheduled or controlled substance. The state is not currently seeking the death penalty against Prater.

On Dec. 20, 2018, deputies were dispatched to the 400 block of Rosebud Place in Guyton after receiving a tip that a 14-year-old girl was missing and feared dead. Mary Crocker had not been seen in weeks.

After arriving to the teen’s home, deputies say they questioned all the adult family members in the house and were told Mary had gone to live with her biological mother. Investigators, however, determined that the family members were not being entirely truthful.

Deputies say Elwyn Crocker, the teens’ father, ultimately gave them information that led investigators to search the grounds of the home. Two bodies were eventually discovered buried just inside the wood line and were later determined to be Mary Crocker, 14, and her brother, Elwyn Crocker Jr., 14.

According to deputies, Mary had not been seen since October 2018 and her brother, Elwyn, had not been seen since November 2016. Neither teen was ever the subject of an official missing person report, deputies say.

Concerned for safety, deputies removed a third child from the home during the investigation.

According to the Savannah Morning News, an indictment accuses Elwyn Crocker, Candice Crocker and Kim Wright of beating and striking Elwyn Jr., withholding food from him and confining him in a dog crate multiple times between Oct. 1, 2016, and Nov. 30, 2016.

It also accuses all five defendants of beating and striking Mary with multiple objects, withholding food from her, burning her with hot water, shocking her with a stun gun and confining her naked in a dog crate multiple times between Jan. 1, 2018, and Oct. 28, 2018.

In April 2019, all five suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Superior Court Judge F. Gates Peed has issued gag orders against the defendants, witnesses, law enforcement officers and lawyers in the case.

Elwyn John Crocker, Candice Heather Crocker, Mark Anthony Wright and Kimberly Renee Wright are scheduled to be arraigned in Effingham County Superior Court on Feb. 19.

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