Suspects extradited to Virginia in case of missing Staunton girl who is presumed dead

·2 min read

VERONA — Both suspects in the case of a missing Staunton toddler have been extradited from Pennsylvania to Virginia.

Travis Brown, 29, arrived at Middle River Regional Jail on Wednesday, the same day the Augusta County Sheriff's Office announced it was starting a memorial for Khaleesi Cuthriell, a 3-year-old girl reported missing in September and now presumed dead.

Travis Brown.
Travis Brown.

Brown and Candi Jo Royer, 41, were caring for the toddler before she went missing earlier this year, according to the sheriff's office. The toddler's mother was in jail at the time.

Royer was extradited Thursday and is being held at the Rockingham-Harrisonburg Regional Jail.

Pennsylvania State Police and the United States Marshals Service arrested Brown and Royer at a motel in South Greensburg, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 12 after the suspects fled Virginia.

On Sept. 20, a day before the toddler's death was reported, numerous Virginia State Police search and recovery vehicles were at 249 Cattle Scales Road, where both Royer and Brown previously lived. Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith said the couple rented the home from one of Brown's relatives. An adjacent property was also searched by the recovery teams.

Cadaver dogs have been used in the search for the toddler's body, which remains missing.

The Augusta County Sheriff's Office reported earlier that Khaleesi's mother, Amanda G. Arey of Staunton, gave Royer her toddler to care for in October 2020, shortly before Arey was incarcerated at Middle River Regional Jail.

Candi Jo Royer.
Candi Jo Royer.

Smith said it's believed Khaleesi died earlier this year, because up to that point he said Arey had been communicating with Royer by phone and writing letters from jail.

Brown and Royer are currently charged with child abuse in Augusta County in connection with the missing toddler. Brown is also facing numerous other charges, including carjacking, strangulation, grand larceny, and breaking and entering, according to jail records.

Royer has past convictions for robbery, drug possession, grand larceny, credit card fraud, worthless check and shoplifting, online records show.

Memorial announced

The Augusta County Sheriff’s Office, located at 127 Lee Highway in Verona, announced Wednesday that it has established a memorial site for Khaleesi.

"The memorial is for the family, friends, and our community to remember her life," a press release said.

Khaleesi Cuthriell.
Khaleesi Cuthriell.

The memorial is outside and left of the main door at the sheriff’s office.

“This memorial was established to honor this child and remind the family and our community that the ACSO is working diligently to bring justice for Khaleesi,” Sheriff Smith said in the press release.

The sheriff's office requested that those attending the memorial not paint, attach, or deface the agency's building.

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Brad Zinn is the cops, courts and breaking news reporter at The News Leader. Have a news tip? Or something that needs investigating? You can email reporter Brad Zinn (he/him) at bzinn@newsleader.com. You can also follow him on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Staunton News Leader: Augusta County Sheriff's Office starts memorial for dead girl