The sinister event occurred in Pennsylvania. The minors of 6 and 4 years had disappeared in 2016 and 2017, respectively. However, the mother and her partner are behind bars.
Nicole Snyder, 6, had been reported missing in 2016. Her little sister, Jasmine Snyder, 4, disappeared in 2017. According to the minors' mother, the girls had gone to the house of a friend, of whom could never give data. Then, five years later, the truth came out.
In the small town of Old Lycoming, half an hour from Philadelphia, authorities found the bodies of the two girls buried in the backyard of the house where the girls' mother, Marie Snyder, 32, lives, along with his partner, Echo Butler, 26. The two women are today behind bars, formally accused of child neglect and obstruction of justice. Still, at any moment, they will also face charges of the alleged murder.
In the middle of this year, the Pennsylvania Department of Children and Families removed Marie Snyder's custody of another child, a seven-year-old boy at the time, after the boy's teacher reported abuse.
It was then that the authorities learned that Snyder had two other minors who were missing. Since September, the police have opened a case to find the girls. When questioned, the mother spoke for the first time about the theory that the minors were living in a friend's house. Still, she could never give details of their whereabouts.
The father of the minors declared that he had seen them for the last time in 2015, the same year in which the previous medical records of the girls were found. On November 4 of this year, the police arrested María Snyder for refusing to cooperate with the investigation into the disappearance of her girls. The house had been searched several times in recent months, but it was only this week that they found the buried bodies.
"It is a terrible situation. Justice will be served on behalf of these two girls," said the Old Lycoming police chief, who also confirmed that his department is receiving assistance from the FBI in the investigation.
With the discovery of the bodies, the police decided to arrest the partner of María Snyder, who had lived for years in the same house where the bodies were found. The details of how the little girls died are unknown, but everything indicates that their mother is involved with his girlfriend.
The women will have their first hearing on November 17, where they will have the possibility to plead guilty or innocent. If they plead not guilty, the trial will begin. The prosecution would have sufficient evidence to keep the women in custody.
So far, it has not been reported that the defendants have a private attorney. Instead, they are registered in the public defense system.
Under the law in the United States, the murder of a child can be punished with capital punishment.
The local press has reported that Maria Snyder would have a long history of substance abuse. Pennsylvania is one of the states where the opioid crisis has had the most substantial impact in the entire country.