Mom turns on girlfriend, admits she starved her ‘hated’ young daughters and buried them [Court] – Online crime
The mother of two deceased children from Pennsylvania testified in a preliminary hearing on Wednesday that the children starved to death on purpose.
During a hearing in Laramie County Court in Williamsport, defendant Marie Snyder admitted that she and her girlfriend, Echo Butler, deliberately starved and abused Snyder’s two daughters until they died. The victims have been identified as 6-year-old Nicole Snyder and 3-year-old Jasmine Snyder.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, investigators say the girls were also regularly pushed against walls and suffocated before they died. They were buried in the yard of a rural home in Hepburn Township.
What caused the abuse? The mother’s girlfriend reportedly told police she “hated” the victims.
In September, child protection investigators opened an investigation into allegations that a 7-year-old child had been neglected. As officers visited the child’s home, they questioned the child’s mother, Snyder, about the whereabouts of her other children: Nicole and Jasmine.
Two months later, in November, authorities found human remains buried in the courtyard of the mother’s residence, which she shared with Butler. Investigators later identified the remains as belonging to Nicole and Jasmine Snyder.
Police then interviewed Marie Snyder, Butler, and Butler’s mother and determined that the girls likely died of physical abuse and starvation.
Butler allegedly told investigators that the children were “bad.” Butler admitted that she would “kneel or push” the girls’ bodies against the walls. She would also ‘choke’ Nicole until the girl’s eyes popped back into her head, according to court documents.
The girls’ mother and Butler allegedly starved the girls, giving them only tiny portions of food and “two sips of water”, according to court records. The girls were reportedly forced to eat alone in a darkened room while other family members were given full meals and better food.
As punishment, the girls were forced to take cold baths or had to stand in a dark room or corner, sometimes restrained.
Authorities believe Nicole died in May 2016. In the days leading up to her death, she was said to have been “pale, unable to stand on her own, and her hair was falling out,” court records say. Echo admitted that she buried Nicole in the garden.
Jasmine would have died in 2017.
Snyder reportedly received child benefits for four to five years after their deaths.
Snyder also allegedly wrote letters to Butler. One letter reads, “If you want them gone, they are gone,” reports WNEP-TV. Another letter states: “I started to correct them, and it went very badly. I lost one of my babies.
Prosecutors have charged Marie Snyder with homicide, child abuse and theft, among a litany of other charges. Butler has been charged with homicide, tampering with evidence, abusing corpses, and numerous other crimes.
Butler’s parents, Michelle and Ron Butler, also face multiple charges, including endangering the welfare of children and covering up a child’s death. Lycoming County District Attorney Ryan Gardner told reporters it was one of the worst crimes he had ever seen and he would seek the death penalty.
“The death penalty will be continued against Marie Snyder and Echo Butler,” Gardner previously said. “Before their death, (they) lived and were subjected to incomprehensible conditions.”
The judge ruled on Wednesday there was enough evidence for Echo and her father to stand trial, while Marie Snyder and Michele Butler would have waived their hearings. This means that all four defendants are likely to go to trial.
Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Family Handout]