Murder charges filed after two kids found buried in Effingham

Murder charges have been filed against five people in the death of a 14-year-old Effingham County girl, who was found buried behind her home alongside her brother in December.

Mary Crocker was last seen alive in October. Her teenage brother, Elwyn “JR” Crocker Jr., hadn’t been seen for two years. Both bodies were found on Dec. 20.

The cause of death for the siblings is still unclear and the investigation is continuing, the agency said. A sheriff’s office spokeswoman said no further information would be released at this point.

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The children’s father, Elwyn Crocker Sr., 50, now faces charges of felony murder, child cruelty and concealing a death. The same charges also have been filed against his wife, Candice Crocker, 33; her mother, Kim Wright, 50; and Wright’s boyfriend, Roy Anthony Prater, 55. Candice Crocker’s brother, Tony Wright, 31, has been charged with cruelty to children and felony murder.

The felony murder charges are only related to the death of Mary Crocker, the sheriff’s office said.

All suspects remain in jail.

The sheriff’s office found the bodies after a 911 caller expressed concern for the teenage girl’s whereabouts. Deputies responded to the family’s home outside the city of Guyton, a rural town about 30 miles from Savannah. An interview with the father led deputies to dig up a spot near the family’s dog pen on the edge of the backyard.

Both children were home-schooled, and neither had ever been reported missing.