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Royer, Brown indicted for aggravated murder of three-year-old Khaleesi Cuthriell

Royer and Brown are being indicted for aggravated murder and felony murder, among several other...
Royer and Brown are being indicted for aggravated murder and felony murder, among several other charges.(Augusta County Sheriff's Office | WHSV)
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 11:26 AM EDT
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VERONA, Va. (WHSV) - Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith and Commonwealth Attorney Tim Martin held a press conference to announce the indictment of Candi Royer and Travis Brown for the murder of three-year-old Khaleesi Cuthriell.

The charges for Candi Royer include the following:

  • Aggravated Murder
  • Felony Murder
  • Unlawfully Concealing Dead Body
  • Conspire to Commit Aggravated Murder
  • Conspire to Commit Child Abuse
  • Conspire to Conceal Dead Body

The charges for Travis Brown include the following:

  • Aggravated Murder
  • Felony Murder
  • Child Abuse/Neglect Serious Injury
  • Unlawfully Concealing Dead Body
  • Conspire to Commit Aggravated Murder
  • Conspire to Commit Child Abuse
  • Conspire to Conceal Dead Body

Candi Royer is also facing a class four felony charge of child abuse resulting in serious injury. The charge is in connection to Khaleesi’s disappearance which was reported September 2021. She was placed into the care of Royer and Brown in October 2020.

Since the sheriff’s office launched the investigation in September 2021, Sheriff Donald Smith said authorities have obtained and conducted numerous search warrants, interviews, and collected “crucial evidence” in this case.

“The countless man-hours and dedication of local, state, and federal law enforcement has gotten us to where we are today,” said Smith.

Augusta County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tim Martin, who listed the charges, said “this comes amid an investigation, the intensity of which I’ve never seen before.”

“After 15 years in this line of work, I have never seen a more thorough and more intense investigation than this one,” Martin added.

Martin emphasized that the integrity of the eventual trial must be unimpeachable, so he did not go into the details of the investigation.

Smith and Martin both asked if anyone came into contact with Khaleesi while under the care of Royer and Brown, call the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office or the FBI Richmond Office, but do so sooner rather than later.

“When harm comes to a child in this community, we will leave no stone unturned.” said Smith. “We have joined with our law enforcement partners at the FBI, the Virginia State Police, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and all of these agencies are committed to this investigation.”

Royer’s scheduled hearing was continued for June 8 at 2:00 p.m. Is it not yet known when this case will go to trial, but any motions to be heard will be heard in advance, according to Martin.

“Really the only sentencing option is life in prison,” said Martin.

Authorities have not commented further on the whereabouts of Khaleesi.

WHSV will continue to follow this story as we learn more. You can watch the full press conference below.

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