A police chief says the remains of two children, which were discovered in a rural Pennsylvania backyard, were “most likely” those of sisters last seen in 2015.
And while tests still must be performed to confirm the identities of the victims, the Old Lycoming Township Police Chief Chris Kriner said he expects they will be confirmed as 6-year-old Nicole Elizabeth Snyder, whom he alleged died or was killed and buried in the yard in 2016, and her sister, 4-year-old Jasmine Jean Snyder, whom he alleged suffered a similar fate in 2017.
He described the alleged crimes in a news release as “horrific,” and said police were investigating the deaths as “homicide.”
Kriner and District Attorney Ryan Gardner “agree that this situation is a travesty of colossal proportions and this investigation will not conclude until all evidence is gathered and analyzed, interviews are conducted and justice on behalf of the two deceased innocent girls is achieved,” he said.
Authorities launched an investigation in September after a report that Marie Sue Snyder‘s 7-year-old son was not enrolled in school, which lead to a visit to Snyder’s Williamsport home by an agent with Lycoming County Children and Youth Services.
Authorities then noted the absence of Snyder’s daughters, who would have been ages 11 and 8, respectively. Snyder alleged teh girls were living with a friend and being home-schooled.
But after child welfare officials could not locate them, they enlisted law enforcement to carry out a search warrant at the home.
Kriner revealed how the girls were last accounted for in 2015.
And on Thursday, police arrested Snyder, 32, as well as a woman they described as “her paramour,” Echo Lane Butler, 26, who lived with her at the Williamsport address, on felony warrants for endangering the welfare of children and obstruction in child abuse cases.
Both individuals are being held without bond.
Investigators working with Old Lycoming police, Pennsylvania State Police and the FBI obtained a warrant to dig on the Williamsport property, where they recovered “human remains of what appears to be a small child,” according to a police news release.
And on Saturday, another set of remains that “appear to be from a small child” also were recovered.
“Investigators believe the human remains recovered on the Livermore Road property are most likely that of the two missing Snyder children,” Kriner said. “Old Lycoming Township Police and detectives from the Lycoming County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the incident as a homicide.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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