Woman was killed, dismembered by daughter and granddaughter, prosecutors say

Words such as “mind boggling” were used in court to describe a murder that the chief of the unit that prosecutes many of the worst crimes in Prince George’s County, Maryland, described as among the worst murders in memory.

At the moment, 71-year-old Margaret Craig, of the Landover area, is still considered a missing person. But when police showed up at her home on Friday, they noticed her car was still in the driveway.

According to police, when officers were allowed inside the house, they could smell the three bags of human remains rotting away in the basement.

“To say it’s disturbing is an understatement,” said Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy. “It’s horrifying.”

Charging documents said Margaret Craig accused her daughter, 44-year-old Candace Craig, of credit card fraud, prompting an argument that led to the elder Craig’s death. They accuse 19-year-old Salia Hardy, Candace’s daughter and Margaret’s granddaughter, of finding the body in a plastic bin and helping to dismember and dispose of it.

“After that, she and her daughter dismembered the body, I believe using a chain saw, and then attempted to dispose of the parts of the body using fire on a grill and in a bonfire,” said assistant state’s attorney Jessica Garth.

One of those fires may have been set as far back as May 27.

The body was in such bad shape that the actual decedent has not been positively identified — but prosecutors are confident that DNA testing will affirm the remains are Margaret’s.

“When you’re talking about your elderly parents, as they get older, it’s our duty as children to protect our parents, and certainly our duty to not murder them and to then dispose of them in such a gruesome way,” said Garth.

But even with a positive identification, determining an exact cause of death may be impossible.

“With the extent of the injuries, with the dismemberment, it is going to be very difficult,” said Braveboy.

During her bond review, Hardy’s lawyer, Chelsea Rinnig, with the Office of the Public Defender, suggested she would dispute the characterization of some of the statements attributed to Hardy in the charging documents.

A preliminary hearing is set for July 3, although it’s more likely that a grand jury will indict the pair before that hearing occurs.

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John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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