Hearing held for estates of two Effingham Co. children found buried in backyard

Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 5:25 PM EDT
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EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The case involving the estates of Mary and Elywn Crocker Jr. went before a judge in Effingham County on Wednesday.

The two teens were found buried in their backyard in 2018.

Attorneys representing the woman asking to become the administrator for the estates of the Crocker children went into the Effingham County Courthouse around Wednesday around 10 a.m. They came out just before noon.

But WTOC doesn’t know what happened inside or what’s next because of an order from Effingham County Probate Court Judge Beth Rahn Mosley to close the courtroom.

Through our attorneys, WTOC requested public access to the court hearing and the court docket because of the significant public interest in this case.

Last week, WTOC Investigates requested to have a camera in the courtroom for the public hearing. Effingham County Probate Court Judge Beth Rahn Mosley denied our request and informed us the hearing would be closed and the case filings sealed because of privacy concerns involving the Crocker’s half-brother, who is in state foster care.

WTOC shares those concerns and is withholding his name. In a letter sent by our attorneys to Judge Mosely yesterday, WTOC suggested several ways the child’s privacy could be protected while also providing the public access to today’s hearing and the court docket.

One of those ways is for the court reporter to provide a transcript of today’s hearing, so that sensitive details about the child can be withheld to protect his privacy.

Judge Mosley has not responded to WTOC’s request.

What we do know based on court filings we previously obtained, the judge could have been considering arguments from attorney’s representing the Department of Family and Children Services against Sofia Pfohl becoming administrator over the Crocker children’s estates.

And WTOC attempted to get information from Pfohl’s attorney about what happened Wednesday, he said the judge also imposed a gag order.

In addition to the attorneys arguing the estate matter today, Pfohl was also at the courthouse, along with one of the attorneys representing Elwyn Crocker, Senior in the capital murder case.