The remains of two Georgia siblings have been unearthed in the backyard of their father's home, and one child had been missing for two years, authorities said.
Elwyn Crocker Jr. was 14 when he vanished. His sister, Mary, now 14 herself, was last seen out walking in October. Authorities say they don't yet know what happened to the teens. No one had reported either child missing.
The children's father, who had been working as a Santa at a local Walmart, has been arrested in connection with their deaths, according to the Effingham County Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff's deputies made the gruesome discoveries after receiving a call for a welfare check on Mary, who hadn't been seen for weeks and was feared dead, according to officials.
After speaking to the children's dad, Elwyn Crocker Sr., deputies searched the property and found the bodies buried near the house. The boy had not been seen since November 2016.
Adults in the home initially told investigators Mary had gone to live with her mother, deputies said. A third child found inside the home was taken to a hospital for observation, authorities said.
Preliminary autopsies failed to determine what killed the children, whose bodies were substantially decomposed. Further testing is necessary, authorities said.
Meanwhile, the adults in the house — Crocker Sr., 49, stepmother Candice Crocker, 33, and her mom Kim Wright, 50, were arrested and charged with concealing the death of another and cruelty to children. They are being held without bond at the Effingham County Jail. They have not entered pleas.