A mother and daughter are in custody in Maryland and facing charges for the alleged murder of a 71-year-old woman inside their family home, authorities said.
Candace Craig, 44, and her daughter Salia Hardy, 19, are accused of killing Margaret Craig — who is Candace Craig’s mother and Salia Hardy’s grandmother — at their house in Landover, near Washington, D.C., according to the Prince George’s County Police Department.
Officers searched the home last Friday after receiving a 911 call from an unidentified person who shared concern for Margaret Craig’s welfare, saying they had not heard from her in several days, the police department said in a news release. When they arrived at the property at around 1:30 p.m. local time, Candace Craig answered the door and allowed the officers inside to search for her mother, CBS affiliate WUSA9 reported, citing the police department.
Once the responding officers entered the basement, “they immediately smelled the odor of decomposition,” according to the department’s news release. Their homicide unit then took over the investigation.
Police say that evidence taken during their search of the home, as well as subsequent interviews, suggested that Candace Craig murdered her mother on May 23, and both she and Hardy attempted to dispose of her remains the following day. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will confirm the identity of the victim, who authorities believe is Margaret Craig, and try to determine a definitive cause of death.
“The detectives of the Homicide Unit will ensure a thorough investigation is conducted and that both suspects are held accountable for their cruel and criminal behavior,” said Major David Blazer, commander of the major crimes division in Prince George’s County, in a statement.
Investigators had not yet identified a potential motive for the alleged crime when police in Prince George’s County issued their news release on Saturday. At the time, both Candace Craig and Hardy had been booked and were being held at the county detention center, with Craig facing charges of first-degree murder and second-degree murder and Hardy facing charges of accessory to murder after the fact, in connection with the killing.
Authorities are asking anyone with information related to the case to contact Prince George’s County detectives by calling 301-516-2512. They can also report tips anonymously by phone or online.