In Georgia, authorities uncovered the bodies of 14-year-old Mary Crocker and her 16-year-old-brother Elwyn “JR” Crocker Jr.
The teens were found buried behind their family’s trailer located just outside of Savannah, Georgia last December.
The horrific condition of Mary’s body was beyond shocking.
Preliminary court hearings revealed the disturbing and gruesome details of Mary’s death.
The teen was apparently found beaten and gaunt, and it was clear that she was tortured before her brutal death.
Officials have charged five people with felony murder in connection to their deaths.
All of the suspects, including their parents, are relatives.
Both Mary and JR were never reported missing.
Unfortunately, for homeschooled children, it’s mostly up to their guardians to report them missing.
Investigator Abby Brown testified at the initial hearings on Tuesday, which revealed the most detailed account of the murder case to date.
One of the most troubling pieces of information was that there was a photo of mary found on her father’s smartphone in which the teen was wholly naked and visibly starving.
The young girl was posed in front of the dog cage kept inside the family’s kitchen.
Due to the graphic nature of Mary and JR’s untimely deaths, Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) has come under intense public scrutiny.
Citizens are outraged that in 2017 the DFCS decided against investigating a previous abuse allegation on the basis that it was over a year old.
The DFCS has since publically announced a policy change.
While it seems that the Crocker family are most-likely responsible for the deaths of these two children, Tuesday’s hearing was exclusively focused on Mary, as her death was the only one which resulted in charges against the family.
Mary allegedly suffered malnourishment, physical abuse, and forcible detainment in a cage.
However, law enforcement was adamant that JR, too, suffered abuse and that charges stemming from his death are forthcoming.
But, medical examiners have yet to complete their examination of the young man’s body.
Meanwhile, testing on Mary’s remains is ongoing, and investigators are confident that they have more than enough evidence to charge the Crockers before those tests are complete.
Even more tragic is that it appears JR died up to two years before his sister Mary. Her death is currently estimated to be on Oct. 28, 2018.
One can only imagine the sense of hopelessness and terror this young girl faced every day after her brother died.
More details of Mary’s abuse reveal that she was beaten with an assortment of household objects.
When she was fed, which was rare, they allegedly even managed to literally inject cruelty into that act, given that the foods were spiked with liquids such as rice vinegar. Mary was reportedly often unable to hold any food down.
Mary was also stripped naked while her abusers forced her into a dog pen.
According to authorities, whenever the family felt it was time to bath the girl, she was dragged into the bathroom, while still in the cage and sprayed with water.
Fox News reports that Mary’s prolonged contortions caused by the dog cage resulted in her suffering from swollen joints.
Even worse, the family once allegedly duct taped her body to a ladder to try and straighten her back out.
In her testimony, Brown stated that these abuses were given as punishment for mostly harmless “misbehavior” such as not wanting to exercise, stealing unspiked food, or failing to complete her chores.
This reasoning was so shocking to those in the audience that the information often drew groans and disgusted murmurs from the crowd.
These people, to whom the Crockers were strangers, reportedly had to shut their eyes in discomfort while sighing in exasperation as Brown recounted the surreal details of Mary’s treatment.
As though this case couldn’t get any more repulsive:
50-year-old Elwen Crocker Sr., the father of the two dead children, had worked as Santa Clause at a local Walmart.
In addition to their father, others charged with felony murder include the children’s stepmother, Candice Crocker, 33, Candice’s brother Mark Wright, 31, Candice’s mother Kimberly Wright, 50, and Kimberly’s boyfriend Roy Anthony Prater, 55.
Mary and JR are survived by an older brother.
According to Brown, James Crocker, an 11-year-old child with cerebral palsy, told investigators that his grandmother instructed him to beat mary for stealing food.
“He hit her with a frying pan,” said Brown.
May swift and decisive justice be served to those responsible for these inhuman acts.