New details revealed in connection with murders of two Lycoming County children

News

OLD LYCOMING TOWNSHIP, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — New information has been released in connection with the murders of two Lycoming County girls, including the arrest of a third person— the mother of Echo Butler.

Shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday, 48-year-old Michele Butler, the mother of Echo Butler, was taken into custody and charged with endangering the welfare of children and obstruction in child abuse cases, a news release from Old Lycoming Township Police Department states.

Michele Butler reportedly resided in the residence with Echo Butler, Marie Snyder and her children.

The affidavit and police criminal complaint about Echo Butler has been released and in them, Echo Butler admits to lying about the children’s whereabouts.

According to the criminal complaint, on September 15th the Lycoming County Children and Youth questioned Butler about both Nicole and Jasmine Snyder. Butler told them the girls were staying with a friend and being homeschooled because their mother did not have a bed for them.

On September 25th the agency questioned Butler again, and she did not give any information about the person the children were said to be staying with. That following day Butler, Marie Snyder and her seven-year-old son packed their belongings and permanently left their home in Hepburn Township.

Butler admits that she ran from authorities to prevent them from taking the son, and says she knew where the missing girls were located but didn’t give any more information.

In the affidavit, on October 1st, the county’s Children and Youth Services confirmed that Nicole and Jasmine were never enrolled in school at all.

The last time the children received contact for either medical, court or other incidents, was back in 2015. On October 22nd authorities reached out to neighbors who said they’ve never seen the two girls, only the son.

Butler was taken into custody on November 5th, where she admitted to obstructing the investigation, knowing the whereabouts of all three children and having information about the deaths of Nicole and Jasmine Snyder.

Many are left wondering how could the kids go unseen for several years.

The YWCA of Northcentral PA says to report anything suspicious, especially if it seems insignificant.

“Our agency is fortunate to work really closely with children and youth and what I can tell you is that they are here and ready to work and save these children. But they can only do that if they know what’s going on, so you need to report,” said Amber Morningstar, the program director at the YWCA of Northcentral PA.

Morningstar says it’s also important to report things that you don’t see in this case, not seeing a child for an extended period of time could be a major red flag.

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