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The father, who turns 50 on Christmas and until recently played Santa at a nearby Walmart in Rincon, has been charged with child cruelty and concealing a death. The same charges have also been filed against his wife, Candice Crocker, 33, her mother, Kim Wright, 50, and Wright’s boyfriend, Roy Anthony Prater, 55. All lived in the home and could face additional charges, authorities have said. They remain in the county jail without bond.
Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Gena Sullivan said deputies had only ever been called to the home for complaints about a couple of pit bulls, but they have now been told the family was reported in the past to the Division of Family and Children Services. The agency declined to comment, as it doesn’t speak about particular cases. The Crocker children had been enrolled in Effingham County schools but were withdrawn for home school before they were last seen, Savannah TV station WTOC reported.
The deaths have shaken the town, which is an old farming community, home to fewer than 2,000 people.
“This is a very unusual crime, especially in this area, a good, close-knit community,” said the coroner. “Many people cannot believe this happened.”
Authorities haven’t revealed whether they have been able to contact a woman believed to be the children’s mom in South Carolina.
From left: Candice Crocker and Kim Wright