WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Echo Butler has pleaded guilty in what the Lycoming County District Attorney says is the most horrific case he’s ever experienced.
It involves the deliberate starvation of two young girls to death who were then buried in the backyard of a home near Williamsport.
It’s been over a year since the children’s remains were discovered by authorities. As their family continues to grieve these immeasurable losses, another suspect in the case has now taken responsibility for their actions.
27-year-old Echo Butler walked out of Lycoming County Court Friday after pleading guilty to charges relating to the death of her girlfriend’s two young daughters.
In November 2021, the bodies of six-year-old Nicole Snyder, and her sister, four-year-old Jasmine Snyder, were found buried in the yard of the Hepburn Township home Butler shared with her girlfriend, 33-year-old Marie Snyder, the girls’ biological mother.
Snyder pleaded guilty in October to the same charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
“In all the years that I’ve been a practicing attorney, this is the most horrific case I’ve ever experienced,” said Ryan Gardner, the Lycoming County District Attorney.
Prosecutors say the young sisters dealt with constant physical and verbal abuse during their young lives.
Butler admitted in court to acting with Snyder to intentionally starve the girls to death.
“Two children subject to repeated intentional starvation and torture that results in their deaths is a tragedy of epic proportions. It’s tragic for the surviving family members and it’s tragic for the community in general,” DA Gardner told Eyewitness News.
Butler and Snyder will both serve two consecutive life sentences each without the possibility of parole.
Butler’s mother, Michele Butler, is also charged with third-degree murder in connection to this case. Her father, Ronald Butler, faces child endangerment and obstruction charges.