SEATTLE – One ofpleaded not guilty Thursday.
Thomas Emery, 80, was the only one of the three to enter a plea after police say a search of the men's home found child pornography and children's toys and clothes. Attorney's for Charles Emery, 82, asked that he be given a mental competency evaluation, and 78-year-old Edwin Emery was not in court.
Investigators say a relative discovered evidence of child exploitation as she was cleaning out the garage of a home her uncles had shared for 55 years. Court papers describe the home as being "littered from floor to ceiling with child exploitation images, children's clothing articles, toys, and movies."
According to charging documents, when police searched the home where the brothers have lived since 1962, they found "hand written notes detailing the kidnapping, torturing, raping and murdering of young girls."
A King County prosecutor wrote in court papers that investigators found evidence that the men "spent the majority of their lives sexually abusing children to whom they had access." Police tell CBS affiliate KIRO they have evidence that indicates the Emerys sexually abused multiple young girls in their family decades ago. They say the victims are now adults. None of the brothers ever married or had children of their own, charges say.
Detectives aren't sure whether the brothers allegedly abused other children, but investigators around the area are watching the developments in the case closely for possible links to unsolved missing child cases.
Documents also state that the relative who turned over the evidence told police that her mother, the men's sister, had been sexually abused by the men growing up and that she was removed from the home and placed in foster care.
In 2013, Edwin Emery was investigated for possessing child pornography. According to the probable cause affidavit, during that investigation, Edwin Emery admitted to sexual abuse of his sister and her daughter, the relative who turned over the evidence.
Authorities have also searched 17-acre property in Shelton, about 90 miles away, where another Emery brother, now deceased, lived until 2016.