Father who worked as Santa at Walmart arrested after bodies of 2 children found buried in yard


A Georgia father and three other adults were arrested after the bodies of two young siblings were discovered buried in the backyard of their home last week.

The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office found the remains of Elwyn Crocker Jr., who would have been 16, and Mary Crocker, 14, on Dec. 19 when responding to a tip about a missing child in Guyton, Georgia. According to police, the call was in relation to the whereabouts of Mary, who had not been seen since October 2018, although it was later revealed that Elwyn Jr. had not been seen since November 2016.

Neither child had an official missing person report filed after their disappearances, officials said.

Pictured: Mary Crocker (right) and Elwyn Crocker Jr. (left) (Photo: Effingham County Sheriff’s Office)

The father of the two victims, 49-year-old Elwyn Crocker, initially told investigators that Mary had gone to see her mother in South Carolina, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. However, he eventually gave responding officers information that led to the discovery of the children's bodies. Police estimated Elwyn Jr. and Mary had been buried for two years and one month, respectively, when they were found.

"I've been doing this 41 years, and a while ago I almost broke down in tears," Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie said. "It's that bad. I cannot understand how you do children like this. It's horrible."

Pictured: Elwyn Crocker (Photo: Effingham County Sheriff’s Office)

Crocker, who worked as a Santa at a Walmart in Rincon, Georgia, up until recently, was arrested and charged with concealing the death of another and cruelty to children in the first degree.

Two other adults, including the victims' stepmother, 33-year-old Candice Crocker, and their step-grandmother, 50-year-old Kim Wright, were arrested on the same charges. Wright’s boyfriend, Roy Anthony Prater, 55, was also taken into custody, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Pictured: Candice Crocker (left) and Kim Wright (right) (Photo: Effingham County Sheriff’s Office)

A third child who lived at the home and has special needs was taken into protective custody.

The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation is ongoing and more charges may be forthcoming.

Originally published