The parents of a 10-year-old girl who was killed in a house fire have been arrested on the Appalachian Trial after being on the run for the last three months.
William Linn McCue, 47, and Carina Wisniewski McCue, 38, from Loganville, Georgia, were found in Georgia by the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office fugitive unit.
The couple have been charged with first-and second-degree cruelty to children and false imprisonment after their 10-year-old daughter, Zoe, died in a fire at their home in April.
When the flames were finally out, authorities found the youngster’s remains in a makeshift bed inside a bathtub that served as her windowless bedroom.
A deadly house fire on Easter Sunday claimed the life of 10-year-old Zoe McCue
William Linn McCue, 47, and Carina Wisniewski McCue, 38, from Loganville, Georgia have been caught on the Appalachian Trail
The couple have both been charged with both first- and second-degree child cruelty
The couple then vanished leading investigators to launch a manhunt for the pair who were finally taken into custody on Wednesday.
Investigators managed to track the couple down to Cleveland, Georgia before being spotted at a motel in Lawrenceville.
The couple were then later found on the Appalachian Trail near the alpine town of Helen.
The pair had disappeared following the Easter Sunday fire at their home.
Zoe’s 15-year-old brother was found by authorities at a church in Rockdale County and confessed to starting the blaze deliberately. He was arrested on various charges including murder.
The house suffered extensive damage throughout its front half and the attic
Zoe McCue (pictured) was found dead inside her Georgia home in a bed in the bath tub. Authorities arrested her 15-year-old brother in connection with the fire, which they believe was set intentionally
Now that the boy’s parent’s have been found, it is not clear if charges against the boy stood still.
His three other siblings were taken into protective custody and are being looked after by state foster carers.
When investigators began looking into the circumstances of the house fire, they found the parents were ‘recluses’ who never let anyone info their filthy, squalid home with living conditions deemed to be ‘unsanitary and dangerous’.
Toilets in the home did not work. Neither did the septic tank, showers, taps or bathtubs.
Police said that some of the children did not even know how to use toilet paper and had not been to school in years.
Further investigation showed the family home had been kept in appalling and squalid conditions
William McCue, the girl’s father was at work when the fire broke out. He later went on the run with his wife with the pair only being caught on Wednesday
‘There was evidence that the children were to not leave the home for years. There was evidence that the children were not given adequate food,’ a social worker told a judge in court.
Timothy Wisniewski, Carina Wisniewski McCue’s father, said that he was never invited inside the home when he visited the family.
‘They had five kids, obviously, and when I would go down to the Loganville area, I would be visiting old friends and stuff and I’d stay at their houses,’ Wisniewski told The Daily Beast.
‘I’d visit with my daughter, but I was never invited into the house. The last time I was… inside their house, prior to the fire—because I went there after the fire—was 2014 or 2015.
William and Carina McCue were said to be reclusive. The pair have been caught having gone on the lam since April. Both are being held without bond on child cruelty years
‘They were exclusive. There’s no doubt about that’, however he stressed that he didn’t see any signs of trouble.
‘Whenever I saw the kids and took them for ice cream and whatnot, they were always well-presented, clean. Sometimes I didn’t see them for two years, but they were never unkempt and they were sociable in the way they acted with people… I had no reason to suspect they were being neglected at all. Otherwise, I would have said something [to authorities].’
Wisniewski said he was ‘really surprised’ when he heard that his daughter was on the run with her husband, whom he says he never liked much describing him as ‘quick to upset’ and having an ‘everybody’s-out-to-get-me -type attitude.’
The couple had filed twice for divorce in both 2010 and 2019 before reconciling.
Either way, Wisniewski says that he had no idea the two were going to become fugitives
‘I always thought Carina was a good person,’ said Wisniewski speaking of his daughter.
‘She would always tell me how good she was doing. They were driving a Chevy Tahoe, fairly new, nice-looking vehicles, so I never thought they were having problems. And when I found out they didn’t have working plumbing, that just baffled the hell out of me because they could’ve always asked me for help. And she knew that.’