Children buried on Hepburn Township property identified by police, homicide investigation underway

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HEPBURN TOWNSHIP, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A homicide investigation is underway after the remains of two missing girls were found over the weekend in Lycoming County.

The remains of two young girls were removed from the yard of a Hepburn Township property over the weekend and have now been identified by police.

Monday morning, Old Lycoming Township Police identified the two victims as six-year-old Nicole Snyder and four-year-old Jasmine Snyder. And now, two people, including the girls’ mother are in custody and authorities are working to uncover how these girls went unseen for years and what happened to them.

Old Lycoming Township Police Chief Christopher Kriner held a press conference Monday morning. You can view the conference in its entirety in the video player below.

In early September, Lycoming County Children and Youth Services had reports about the welfare of Marie Snyder’s seven-year-old son.

During their investigation, they learned that Marie had two other children, two girls that they could not account for,” Old Lycoming Township Chief Christopher Kriner said.

Both children had not been seen since 2015. Synder told Youth Services and police they were staying with a friend but would not disclose tell with whom or their whereabouts. Snyder was taken into custody on November 4th.

“A warrant was obtained for Marie Snyder’s arrest, charging her with endangering the welfare of children as well as obstruction and child abuse cases,” Kriner said.

Snyder lived at her home with her partner, Echo Butler, who was also arrested as a suspect. After a search for the missing girls around the home, investigators found their remains on the property.

“Six-year-old Nicole Elizabeth Snyder died and was killed and subsequently buried in 2016 in the backyard at 653 Livermore Road. Four-year-old Jasmine Jean Snyder was killed and subsequently buried in 2017,” Kriner said.

Monday, their remains were taken to Erie to be examined by a forensic anthropologist. Right now, there’s no clear cause of death for either child but Kriner says this is a homicide investigation.

“It’s just a terrible, horrific situation and our investigation will not end or conclude until all evidence is gathered,” Kriner said.

“Both DA Gardner and I agree that this situation is a travesty of colossal proportions and this investigation will not conclude until all evidence is gathered and analyzed, interviews are conducted and justice on behalf of the two deceased innocent girls is achieved.”

Old Lycoming Township Police Chief Christopher Kriner

A neighbor tells Eyewitness News she couldn’t believe when she heard what happened and hopes the victims get justice.

“I don’t understand how it got to this point. You know, two little girls lost their lives because people don’t want to see the signs. I’m just thankful the little boy, he’s got a chance,” Carrie Leonard of Loyalsock Township said.

Law enforcement are investigating a motive and putting together a timeline of events surrounding the murders of Nicole and Jasmine Snyder.

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