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‘Cruel and criminal’: Mother and daughter charged after grandmother found decomposing in her own basement

Candace Raquel Craig (L) and Salia Margaret Hardy (R)

Candace Raquel Craig, left, and her daughter, Salia Margaret Hardy, right, appear in mugshots in June 2023 (Prince George’s County Police Department)

A Maryland mother and daughter are implicated in the death and disappearance of the family’s matriarch – who was found decomposing in her own house after being reported missing.

Officers performed a welfare check at a residence in Landover on Friday in response to a 911 call from a concerned man who had not heard from Margaret Craig, 71, in several days and wanted to make sure she was okay, the Prince George’s County Police Department said in a press release issued over the weekend.

But the septuagenarian grandmother was far from okay.

Police say the woman’s daughter answered the door and allowed them inside the residence in order to search for Margaret Craig.

“When the officers entered the basement, they immediately smelled the odor of decomposition,” the PGPD alleged in the press release.

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Candace Raquel Craig, 44, the deceased woman’s daughter, stands accused of one count each of murder in both the first and second degree, according to Upper Marlboro court records reviewed by Law&Crime. Salia Margaret Hardy, 19, the elderly Craig’s granddaughter, is accused of being an accessory to both counts of murder after the fact.

After finding the decomposing body, homicide and evidence units assumed control of the investigation, police said. After collecting “additional evidence” from inside the house and conducting “multiple interviews,” police said that they believe the dead woman’s daughter killed her on May 23 and enlisted her own daughter the next day to help her “attempt to dispose of the remains.”

Details regarding the grandmother’s death are presently scarce. No motive for the alleged murder has been shared by law enforcement, which was still being investigated as of Saturday. The victim’s manner of death has also not been released, but a medical examiner will “attempt to identify” how Margaret Craig died, police said.

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The PGPD said any case updates would be published via social media. As of Monday morning, there were no additional updates to the case.

Police directed further inquiries about the case to the local prosecuting attorney. The Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office did not immediately reply to Law&Crime’s request for additional details and comment.

“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,” PGPD Major Crimes Division Commander Major David Blazer said in a statement.

The deceased woman’s daughter and the granddaughter who shares her name were both initially detained without bond in the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections. Court records show that both have scheduled bail hearings on Monday.

Each defendant’s next court appearance is slated for July 3.

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