Law enforcement officials in Effingham County, Georgia believe they have discovered the remains of a Walmart Santa Claus’ two children — one of whom had not been seen since Nov. 2016 — buried in their family’s backyard.
Elwyn Crocker Jr. was 14 years old when he was last seen two years ago, whereas his sister Mary, also 14, was the same age when a witness supposedly laid eyes on her in October, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Deputies were conducting a search of the home following a tip about a missing juvenile. The girl, Mary, was initially thought to be with her mother in South Carolina, according to the AJC.
Authorities interviewed Elwyn Crocker Sr., who turned 49 on Christmas Day and was recently temporarily employed as a Santa at a nearby Walmart.
Something Crocker Sr. said in the interview led officers to his yard. While it’s not known what he told them, they eventually dug it up and uncovered the remains.
The discovery of the children’s bodies left authorities shaken.
“I’ve been doing this 41 years, and a while ago I almost broke down in tears,” Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie told reporters, his voice shaking, according to AJC. “It’s that bad. I cannot understand how you do children like this. It’s horrible.”
Another child, supposedly with special needs, was found alive at the premises and taken into custody, according to the report.
Crocker’s wife and the kids’ stepmother, Candice Crocker, 33, her mother, Kim Wright, 50, and Wright’s boyfriend, Roy Anthony Prater, 55, were also held on charges of child cruelty as well as concealing a death.
They remain in Effingham County jail without bond.
As for the kids, they were enrolled in Effingham County schools when they were last seen; neither was officially reported missing, according to the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities are now attempting to piece together the case by asking people who may have had contact with the children to come forward to speak on their experience.
"If you saw someone in the back digging, if you saw a little girl wandering around, anything. Anything that you thought might have been a little strange at the time, but now you realize it could be very pertinent to this case," Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman Gena Sullivan said, as quote by WSAV, a local NBC affiliate.
[Photo Credit: Effingham County Sheriff’s Office]
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