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Multiple murder charges for suspects in missing toddler case

Augusta Co. Sheriff's Office

The couple previously charged with lesser offenses in the disappearance of three-year-old Khaleesi Cuthriell have now been indicted for aggravated murder and other charges. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

The Augusta County Sheriff's Office held a press conference on Tuesday to announce additional charges in the case of Khaleesi Cuthriell, the three-year-old girl from Augusta County who went missing last year while in the care of Candi Jo Royer and Travis Ryan Brown in Waynesboro.

Commonwealth's Attorney Tim Martin said a grand jury returned the following indictments on Monday –

TIM MARTIN: Each of them has been charged with aggravated murder … felony murder, unlawfully concealing a dead body, conspiracy to commit aggravated murder, conspiracy to commit child abuse, and conspiracy to conceal a dead body.

Augusta Co. Sheriff Donald Smith addresses reporters
Randi B. Hagi
Augusta Co. Sheriff Donald Smith addresses reporters

Brown has an additional seventh charge, of child abuse/neglect. Martin said he would not release any substantive information about the details of the case – including whether or not Khaleesi's body has been found – in order to protect the integrity of a future trial.

Sheriff Donald Smith said his office has been working with the FBI, the Virginia State Police, and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on the case.

DONALD SMITH: If you have any information about Khaleesi, Candi Royer, Travis Brown, and would like to speak to us, I would like you to call the Augusta County Sheriff's Office at 540-245-5333. Or the FBI Richmond office at 804-261-1044. And I would like for the community to know that they can rest assured that there will be justice for Khaleesi, and we're doing everything that we can.

Court dates have not yet been set for the new charges.

Randi B. Hagi first joined the WMRA team in 2019 as a freelance reporter. Her writing and photography have been featured in The Harrisonburg Citizen, where she previously served as the assistant editor; as well as The Mennonite; Mennonite World Review; and Eastern Mennonite University's Crossroads magazine.