Remains of 2 Young Pennsylvania Sisters Found Buried in Mother's Backyard: Police

Marie Sue Snyder, right, and Echo Butler.
Echo Lane Butler, left, and Marie Sue Snyder.Old Lycoming Township Police Department

Marie Sue Snyder, the girls' mother, and Echo Lane Butler, the mom's partner, have been charged with endangering the welfare of children, police said.

The remains of two young sisters have been discovered in the backyard of their mother's rural Pennsylvania home, police said.

The bodies were unearthed over the weekend and on Monday they were identified as belonging to 6-year-old Nicole Elizabeth Snyder and 4-year-old Jasmine Jean Snyder, the daughters of Marie Sue Snyder, said Old Lycoming Township Police Chief Christopher Kriner.

The girls were last seen by people other than their relatives in 2015, he said.

Kriner and District Attorney Ryan Gardner issued a joint statement Monday saying the deaths have been ruled homicides.

“Both DA Gardner and I 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,” Kriner said.

Snyder, 32, and Butler, 26, were arrested Friday and jailed without bail on charges of endangering the welfare of children and obstruction in child abuse cases, authorities said. Butler is Snyder's domestic partner, police said.

Investigators began searching for the girls after Lycoming Children and Youth services began investigating Snyder for allegedly neglecting her youngest child, a 7-year-old son who was not enrolled in school, authorities said. The boy could only count to 10 and was not toilet trained, according to court records, reported WBRE-TV.

That investigation led to questions about the whereabouts of Snyder's two daughters, who would have been aged 8 and 11.

Nicole Elizabeth Snyder "died/was killed and subsequently buried in 2016," the police chief said. Jasmine Jean Snyder "died/was killed and subsequently buried in 2017," he said.

The remains have been sent to Erie, Pennsylvania, for analyses by a forensic anthropologist, the chief said.

"I cannot offer further comment at this time as my Department and the Investigators must return to work to see that all perpetrators of these horrific crimes are held accountable," Kriner said in his statement Monday.

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