Three elderly Seattle brothers were charged Monday with possessing images of child-sex abuse, with police still investigating them for allegedly sexually abusing and killing young girls, according to King County prosecutors.

Share story

The house in Seattle’s Meridian neighborhood where three elderly brothers have lived for more than 50 years was jampacked with sexual photos and videos of young girls, toys and girls’ clothing, as well as notes, books and other documents about child-sex abuse and homicide, according to police and prosecutors.

On Monday, King County prosecutors charged each of the brothers — Charles Emery, 82; Thomas Emery, 80; and Edwin Emery, 78 — with two counts of second-degree possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexual conduct.

All three have been booked into the King County Jail and are each being held in lieu of $500,000 bail, jail records show. They are to be arraigned Aug. 31.

“At the time of filing, law enforcement is actively executing search warrants and interviewing witnesses to determine the extent of the defendants’ child exploitation crimes as well as evidence of homicide,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Cecelia Gregson wrote in charging papers, noting the brothers “have spent a lifetime accumulating” their collection of images and videos.

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

“The investigation revealed that each of the defendants has a sexual interest in minor children and have shared the majority of their lives sexually abusing children to whom they had access and exploiting children depicted in child pornography,” Gregson wrote.

According to the charges:

On Aug. 9, one of the men’s relatives contacted Seattle police after finding boxes of obscene materials in the garage of the house the three brothers have shared since 1962.

The relative is the legal guardian of Charles Emery, who was moved into a senior residential home because of his dementia, the charges say.

The charges note that he was a janitor at Seattle Children’s Hospital from the 1970s through the 1990s.

The relative turned over a large quantity of items from the garage, including “hand written notes detailing the kidnapping, torturing, raping and murdering of young girls,” according to the charges.

When detectives interviewed Thomas and Edwin Emery, police say the brothers claimed they hadn’t gone into the garage for years, and that it contained “Charles’ hobby,” say the charges.

Starting last Friday, members of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which includes Seattle police detectives, searched the brothers’ home for more than 30 hours, with one detective describing it as “a substantial hoarder home,” charging papers say.

They found sexual images of children throughout the residence along with dozens of pairs of girls’ penny loafers, panties and toys. They also found a single-serving vodka bottle and a note indicating the alcohol had been given to a child victim to facilitate her sex abuse, according to the charges.

In the house’s crawl space, detectives also found a girl’s pink hat partially buried in the dirt, along with a handwritten note that had been burned but was similar to other notes in the house about sex abuse and homicide, charging papers say.

As of Sunday, detectives were still searching additional properties associated with the brothers “for the presence of child exploitation materials and evidence of kidnapping, abuse, and child homicide,” say the charges.

Police say Edwin Emery admitted to molesting female family members, according to the charges.

In 2013, Edwin Emery took his computer in for servicing, and staff at the computer store contacted police after finding sexual images of minors, the charges say.

He was investigated for possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexual conduct but was never prosecuted, say the charges, though prosecutors don’t indicate why charges weren’t filed at the time.

None of the three brothers ever married or had biological children of his own, and none has any known, prior, criminal convictions, the charging papers say.

Information in this article, originally published Aug. 21, 2017, was corrected Aug. 23, 2017. A previous version of this story gave an incorrect age for Edwin Emery, who is 78.