Mom Admits She and Partner Starved Daughters To Death & Buried Their Bodies In Rural Backyard

Mom Admits She and Partner Starved Daughters To Death & Buried Their Bodies In Rural Backyard

Nicole Elizabeth Snyder, 6, and her sister Jasmine, 4, were last seen in 2015.

Trigger Warning: This article contains graphic details that may be distressing to readers.

The bodies of two young girls were discovered in rural Pennsylvania last November. The bodies were determined to be that of Nicole Elizabeth Snyder, 6, and her sister Jasmine, 4, that were found in a shallow grave in Hepburn Township. The mother of the two young girls, 32-year-old Marie Snyder, testified that she and her partner Echo Butler, 26, starved the children. According to WNEP, Marie Snyder told the judge that when one of her daughters died, she weighed less than five pounds and the other child weighed less than a gallon of milk.



Authorities also charged Echo Butler's parents, Ronald and Michele Butler, who lived in a rented home with the two. According to the children's mother, the girls were healthy until they moved into the Butler home in 2014. "She (Echo) would hit them with a closed or open fist and tie their hands behind their backs with anything she could find." The Lycoming County district attorney called where they lived near Williamsport a "trailer of horrors." The pair would deny the children anything to eat. Sometimes they gave them a sip of water and a bite of cereal at a time. By the end of the children's lives, they were not fed at all. "We starved them so they would die," Snyder said. "She (Nicole) was pale and bruised, skin and bones. She had a scar from where I bashed her head into a wall."


"They were being starved and beaten every day," Snyder testified, according to NorthCentralPA.com. "Echo would grab their throats so they couldn't breathe, and choke them until their eyes would roll back into their heads." The children's remains were found buried on a property at 653 Livermore Road on November 6 and 7, 2021. Snyder testified that Echo Butler dug a shallow grave on the property and added mothballs to cover up the stench of decomposition. After her sister's death, Jasmine was initially treated well, but Snyder said that they starved her in August 2017. She was buried next to her sister after she died.


According to PEOPLE, authorities have charged Echo Butler with first-degree murder. Echo's father, Ronald Butler, has been charged with two counts of endangering a child and obstruction of child abuse cases. Ronald Butler's wife, Michele, has been charged with third-degree murder. All four will appear in Lycoming County Court for formal arraignment on April 11.


If you know of any children who are being subjected to abuse, please contact The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at (800) 422-4453

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