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Two people are behind bars, charged with murder in connection with a young girl who disappeared in 2020.
According to Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith and Commonwealth’s Attorney Tim Martin, Travis R. Brown, 30, and Candi Jo Royer, 42, have been charged with first-degree murder and related offenses, in connection with the presumed death of 3-year-old Khaleesi Cuthriell.
Suspect Brown has been identified as the child’s father. Police said that the child’s birth mother, Amanda G. Arey, handed her over to Brown shortly before she went to jail in 2020 to serve time on drug charges, the News Leader reports.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Khaleesi was reported missing on September 3, 2020, when Arey contacted a jail employee with concerns.
Arey reportedly said she allowed a friend, Royer, to take care of Khaleesi, even drawing up a written diversionary agreement with the assistance of social workers. Arey said she then heard that Royer’s aunt had been taking care of the child and also heard a grandmother was watching her.
When police started searching for the child, they realized that no one could provide information on Khaleesi’s whereabouts or who was taking care of her.
“Several friends and family of Royer also reported to investigators being told this by Royer, and that the child has not been seen with Royer since February of this year. Investigators later determined this to be untrue, and that Khaleesi Cuthriell’s whereabouts are currently unknown,” ACSO Sheriff Donald L. Smith wrote on Facebook.
The Augusta County Sheriff’s Office announced last year that police arrested Royer and her reported boyfriend, Brown, without incident at a Knight’s Inn motel in South Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
Virginia authorities issued a warrant for the pair on child abuse and endangerment charges and worked with Pennsylvania investigators to bring them into custody.
In addition to the child abuse and aggravated murder charges, the suspects are now facing felony murder, unlawfully concealing a dead body, conspiracy to commit aggravated murder, conspiracy to commit child abuse, and conspiracy to conceal a dead body charges.
Meanwhile, Smith said the search for the child “is fierce,” NBC 12 previously reported.
Anyone with any information about the case is urged to contact the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office at (540) 245-5333.
Check back for updates.
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[Featured Photo: Khaleesi Cuthriell/Police Handout]