Monday, December 11, 2023

Arrests Made in Case of Missing 3-Year-Old Girl

Khaleesi Hope Cuthriell, a 3-year-old Augusta County girl, was last seen in February 2021 (Courtesy of Virginia State Police)

AUGUSTA COUNTY — On Sunday, September 12, the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) was notified that an arrest had been made in the case of missing 3-year-old Khaleesi Hope Cuthriell.

Candi Royer was arrested with her boyfriend, Travis Brown, in connection with the disappearance of 3-year-old Khaleesi Cuthriell. (Courtesy of Augusta County Sheriff’s Office)

According to the ACSO, authorities in Pennsylvania who were assisting the department were able to locate Travis Ryan Brown and Candi Royer after tracking the two through South Greensburg, Penn., which is located near Pittsburgh and Westmoreland County in the state.

The Pennsylvania State Police and United States Marshall’s Service made contact with and arrested without incident Brown and Royer at a Knights Inn motel, located at 1215 S. Main St. in South Greensburg.

On that same day, investigators from the ACSO, Virginia State Police (VSP) Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) Appomattox Field Office traveled to Pennsylvania, where they made contact with and interviewed Brown and Royer.

Wanted fugitive Travis Brown was arrested with his girlfriend, Candi Royer, in connection with the disappearance of 3-year-old Khaleesi Cuthriell (Courtesy of the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office)

Both are now being held in the Westmoreland County (Penn.) Prison, pending court hearings regarding their extradition to Virginia to face numerous charges. Each are currently charged with a single felony count of abuse and neglect of children. Other charges that may be pressed upon return to Virginia have not been released.

On Friday, Sept. 10, VSP issued an Endangered Child Alert for Khaleesi Cuthriell, a 3-year-old girl missing from Augusta County. An investigation showed that on Sept. 4, the girl’s mother, Amanda Arey, an inmate at Middle River Regional Jail in Staunton, reported to an officer at the jail that she placed her daughter in the care of Candi Jo Royer of Waynesboro in October 2020. Arey indicated that she worked with Social Services to establish a written diversionary agreement. That same month, family members of Royer reported witnessing seeing Khaleesi in Royer’s care.

Arey then said that she was told by friends that Royer placed Khaleesi in the care of the child’s aunt, who lives in Covington. It was also reported that Royer may have placed the child in the care of her maternal grandmother.

While initial reports stated that Khaleesi hadn’t been seen since February 2021, the ACSO later determined that to be untrue.

Until Sunday, Royer was also considered a missing person. Brown, who is reported as Royer’s boyfriend, was a fugitive wanted on numerous charges including strangulation as well as assault and battery.

Khaleesi Hope Cuthriell is a missing 3-year-old from Augusta County in which Virginia State Police have issued an Endangered Child Alert (Courtesy of the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office)

“Our investigation into the disappearance of three-year-old Khaleesi Cuthriell is active, and continues,” said ACSO Sheriff Donald L. Smith through the department’s Facebook page. “While we are pleased that Mr. Brown and Ms. Royer are in custody, the men and women of the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office will not rest until we discover the whereabouts of 3-year-old Khaleesi.”

The ACSO is continuing to ask the public’s assistance in obtaining any information regarding the whereabouts of Khaleesi Cuthriell. Residents are asked to call the department at (540) 245-5333 or Central Shenandoah Crime Stoppers at (800) 322-2017.

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