AUGUSTA COUNTY — The Augusta County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) has released further information that leads investigators to believe that Virginia 3-year-old, Khaleesi Cuthriell, is dead.
On Tues., Sept. 21, Sheriff Donald L. Smith issued a joint statement with Commonwealth’s Attorney Timothy A. Martin regarding this latest development in the case.
“It is with great sadness that the search for Khaleesi has now turned into a recovery mission,” said Sheriff Smith.
With the assistance of the Virginia State Police (VSP) Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the ACSO executed a search warranted on Monday (Sept. 20) at a property located at 249 Cattle Scales Rd. in Augusta County.
Travis Brown and Candi Royer, who remain in prison in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, have been interviewed throughout the week. During this time, investigators learned that Khaleesi Cuthriell died while in Royer and Brown’s care.
Additionally, ACSO was also able to determine that Royer acted as a willing participant in a crime spree with Brown that spanned across the Commonwealth of Virginia.
On Friday, Sept. 10, VSP issued an endangered child alert for Khaleesi. The child was initially reported as last scene in February, however, it was later revealed that this was not the case.
At that time, Royer was also considered a missing person.
On Sept. 4, Khaleesi’s mother, Amanda Arey, who is noted by the Sheriff’s office as 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 Royer, who was a resident 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.
Additionally, Brown, Royer’s boyfriend, was considered a fugitive, wanted on numerous charges including strangulation as well as assault and battery.
On Sept. 12, ACSO was notified by authorities in Pennsylvania that Royer and Brown were located in at a motel in South Greensburg, Penn. Investigators in that state took Royer and Brown into custody without incident.
At that time, ACSO reported that each were charged with a single felony count of abuse and neglect of children.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Tim Martin stated that additional charges are pending consideration.
In the Sept. 21 release, Martin stated, “My office has worked closely with the investigators since we became aware of this terrible situation. We are reviewing all of the available evidence and will decided precisely what to charge and when, based solely on what is best for the ultimate prosecution.”
The Sept. 21 release notes that the FBI, VSP, and ACSO are working tirelessly to locate the location of Khaleesi’s remains. They do not believe it would be beneficial for the community to establish search parties at this time.
Additionally, ACSO notes that it has executed numerous search warrants in this case and it is likely that more will be issued as well.
No further information as to what happened to Khaleesi have been released at this time.
WYDaily will continue to keep you up-to-date as more information becomes available.