Gwinnett parents whose daughter died in house fire found on Appalachian Trail

Loganville couple William McCue, 47, and Carina McCue, 38, were taken into custody in North Georgia by the fugitive unit out of the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office.

Credit: Henri Hollis

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Loganville couple William McCue, 47, and Carina McCue, 38, were taken into custody in North Georgia by the fugitive unit out of the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office.

Credit: Henri Hollis

The parents of a child who died in a Gwinnett County house fire, and who fled after losing custody of their other four children, were found on the Appalachian Trail, authorities said.

Loganville couple William McCue, 47, and Carina McCue, 38, were taken into custody by the fugitive unit out of the Gwinnett sheriff’s office, according to spokesman Senior Deputy Ashley Castiblanco. Both Carina and William McCue were booked into the Gwinnett County Jail on child cruelty charges and are being held without bond.

The McCues had been on the run since early May when Gwinnett police took out arrest warrants against them, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. Over the course of nearly two months, fugitive investigators tracked the couple to Cleveland, Georgia, before taking them into custody on the Appalachian Trail near Helen, Castiblanco said.

Before they were apprehended, the McCues were last seen at a motel in Lawrenceville. The sheriff’s office could not confirm if the couple had been camping while they were fugitives.

ExploreGwinnett parents charged after daughter’s house fire death are on the run, police say

Carina and William McCue face multiple charges related to the April 17 house fire that claimed the life of their 10-year-old daughter, Zoe McCue.

While investigating the fire, authorities found that the McCues’ five children were living in “unsanitary and dangerous” conditions. Zoe’s remains were located in a windowless bathroom where investigators also found a makeshift bed in the bathtub, police said.

A separate investigation was opened against William and Carina McCue, Valle said, leading police to discover “improvised camping-style toilets” in the house. The residential toilets were inoperable and the septic tank was either full or not working, Valle said. The kitchen sink had been re-plumbed to direct water from the faucet into a five-gallon bucket on the floor, and none of the showers or bathtubs appeared to be functioning, according to police.

Hours after the fire, which took place on Easter Sunday, Zoe’s 15-year-old brother was found at a church in Rockdale County, where authorities said he confessed to intentionally setting fire to the house. The teenager was taken into custody on murder and other charges.

The three other McCue children were placed into state protective custody, police confirmed in early May. State records obtained by the AJC revealed the McCue family had come under investigation twice before, but charges were never filed against the parents.