Va. couple wanted for questioning in disappearance of 3-year-old girl arrested in South Greensburg

·3 min read

Sep. 14—A couple wanted by Virginia authorities for questioning in connection with the disappearance of a 3-year-old girl was arrested in a South Greensburg motel Sunday for having "two large rocks of methamphetamine" and multiple checks investigators say were stolen in Virginia, according to court documents.

However, when state troopers and members of the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force arrested Travis R. Brown, 29, and Candi Jo Royer, 31, both of Waynesboro, Va., inside a room at Knights Inn on South Main Street, there was no sign of the missing girl, Khaleesi Hope Cuthriell, according to court documents.

"Our investigation into the disappearance of 3-year-old Khaleesi Cuthriell is active and continues," the office of Augusta County, Va., Sheriff Donald L. Smith posted on social media Monday after investigators traveled to Hempfield to question the couple at the Westmoreland County Prison.

"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 ... Khaleesi," Smith wrote in a department social media post announcing the couple's arrest.

According to Smith's office, Khaleesi's mother, Amanda Arey, who is incarcerated in Staunton, Va., told an officer at the jail this month she had placed Khaleesi in the care of Royer in October.

Smith's office reported that an investigation showed Royer's family members reported seeing Khaleesi with her in 2020, but they also informed investigators the girl has not been seen since February.

Smith's office said the Virginia State Police issued an Endangered Child Alert for Khaleesi on Sept. 8 and began looking for Brown and Royer.

According to court records, the couple was ordered held without bond during their arraignment Monday before Export District Judge Charles Conway because they are considered flight risks.

The couple is charged locally with forgery, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and four counts of receiving stolen property.

Smith's office reported they plan to extradite Brown and Royer back to Virginia, where they were charged last week with a felony count of abuse and neglect of children in connection with Khaleesi's disappearance. Brown also is wanted in Virginia on charges of assault and battery, carjacking, eluding, criminal trespass and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Trooper Joshua Wiskeman reported authorities began monitoring the motel Sunday morning after they received information that a stolen 2018 Toyota sedan the couple was believed to be driving was found parked there.

According to court documents, Brown used forged identification to rent the room. Motel clerks recognized a photograph of him provided by authorities.

Wiskeman said police forcibly entered the room after Royer and Brown refused to let them inside. Brown reportedly continued to struggle with police after they entered the room, according to court documents.

Royer reportedly told investigators the couple arrived at the motel early Saturday.

"Royer related that she did not drive and Brown was the driver," Wiskeman wrote.

Waynesboro is in north central Virginia, about 30 miles west of Charlottesville.

The Augusta County Sheriff's Office is asking anyone with information about Khaleesi to call its office at 540-245-5333 or Central Shenandoah Crime Stoppers at 800-322-2017.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, ppeirce@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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