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Father of missing girls speaks to Newswatch 16

A father opens up to Newswatch 16 about learning that the daughters he has not seen for years are likely dead.

LYCOMING COUNTY, Pa. — A father who has not seen his daughters in years spoke to Newswatch 16 on Tuesday after the remains of two children were found in Lycoming County over the weekend.

This comes as police have just made another arrest in this case.

Michele Butler, 48, is the mother of Echo Butler. She's charged with obstruction and child endangerment.

Police in Lycoming County say she lived in the same home with Echo, Marie Snyder, and Snyder's children.

Credit: WNEP
Michele Butler

According to a police affidavit, Echo Butler, the partner of Marie Snyder, has been cooperating with police and told investigators that she had information regarding the deaths of Marie Snyder's two daughters.

The affidavit for Michele Butler then revealed that she gave police information about the death and burial of the children.

Then, over the weekend, police found the remains of two young children on a property in Hepburn Township just north of Williamsport.

Police believe they are the remains of Marie Snyder's young daughters.

Investigators in Lycoming County say the girls had not been seen for several years.

They consider the case a homicide investigation.

Newswatch 16 spoke with Joshua Snyder, the father of the two missing girls, whose remains were believed to be found this weekend. He says he last saw his two little girls in 2015, and now he wants answers.

"I am just completely lost on everything, and I don't want to believe it. I just want to get answers and find out exactly what happened all these years, what led up to everything," Joshua Snyder said.

Joshua Snyder of Hughesville is the father of two daughters. He and his father met with us at Brandon Park in Williamsport to talk about what happened over the weekend.

Police believe the remains of Joshua's daughters were found buried in the backyard of a home just north of the city.

The children's mother Marie Snyder and her partner Echo Butler lived at that home. They are being held without bail and face charges of child endangerment.

"If something happens, you call the police. You call if something happens to a child. They come out, and they investigate. You don't hide something," Snyder said.

In 2015, Marie Snyder obtained a court order that Joshua says prevented him from seeing his daughters.

"Couldn't go up to the residence. I couldn't be anywhere near the property. I had to stay so far away. If I saw them in public, I had to go and walk the other way. I couldn't be anywhere near them. I couldn't talk, conversate, or even message them," Joshua said.

"For six years, I have been waiting to see them again, and for six years imagining how was their first day in kindergarten? And what did they do over the summer?" said Robert Snyder, grandfather of the missing girls.

"I am at a complete loss on the fact that knowing now that all this happened when all these years, I thought the kids were fine and that they were with their mother and they were avoiding us. Basically, just trying to keep them from me," Joshua added.

Marie Snyder and Echo Butler are still behind bars on charges of child endangerment and obstruction. Police say their investigation is continuing.

Credit: WNEP

From left to right, Echo Butler, Marie Snyder, Michele Butler

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