Sex Offender, Parents Charged With Capital Murder of 6-Year-Old Georgia Boy

A convicted sex offender and his parents were charged with capital murder Wednesday in the death of 6-year-old Christopher Michael Barrios.

The prosecutor in the case will seek the death penalty.

George Edenfield and his parents, David and Peggy, are charged with murder, kidnapping with bodily injury, enticing a child with indecent purposes, false imprisonment and cruelty to children and child molestation.

Donald Dale, the family friend also in custody in connection with Christopher's death, is not being charged with capital murder but along with the Edenfields is being charged with concealing the death of another person and tampering with evidence. Dale will not be eligible for the death penalty.

"I have formed a prosecution task force to work on this case immediately," Glynn County District Attorney Stephen Kelly said in a statement announcing the indictments Wednesday. "Over the next few weeks, we will be gathering information, reviewing the evidence and interviewing witnesses."

Kelly presented evidence in the Barrios case to the grand jury Wednesday — the same day of the Georgia boy's public viewing.

"I have sufficient evidence to go ahead to the grand jury," Kelly told on Monday, adding "oh, yes" when asked if he has enough evidence against the suspects for the charges to stick.

Police say the Edenfields and Dale led them on several wild goose chases during their search for Christopher, telling them he may be found dead — or alive — in several places that turned up empty. The place authorities finally found Christopher's body was not one they were directed to by the suspects.

The body was in a black trash bag dumped near a roadside about three miles from his home on the outskirts of Brunswick, a port city in southeastern Georgia.

"They deserve the worst, for them to torture my son like that, every last one of them," said Mike Barrios, Christopher's father.

George Edenfield pleaded guilty in 1997 to molesting two boys, ages 7 and 9. Prosecutors said he rubbed his clothed body "in a sexual manner" against the boys, who also were fully dressed. He was sentenced then to 10 years on probation.

His father pleaded guilty to incest in 1994. He was accused of having sex with an adult relative; the relatives was not his son.

As part of his 1997 conviction, George Edenfield had to register as a sex offender in Georgia. A Georgia law passed last year prohibits registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop; the Edenfields lived about 600 feet from the one Christopher waited at. The Edenfields lived in a mobile-home park directly across from the Barrios family.

In Edenfield's case, a pending lawsuit prompted a federal judge last year to block the 1,000-foot provision from taking effect.

Kelly said he would look into the 1997 case as part of the current investigation.

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Kelly said the Barrios case has "taken the highest priority right now" for his team of four prosecutors.

Christopher's funeral will be held Thursday at the Edo Miller Funeral Home in Brunswick, Ga., at 2 p.m. Visitation will be Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. A community reception was to follow the funeral Thursday afternoon in downtown Brunswick.

Although Kelly would not give details about how Christopher died or about what charges he may seek against the suspects, Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering said he told Christopher's father that "he did not suffer."

An autopsy was conducted at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's lab in Savannah. The results have not been released.

Christopher was last seen the night of March 8 walking on a road not far from the homes of his father and grandmother, who live in a mobile home park about a half-mile from Interstate 95 just outside the port city of Brunswick on the Georgia coast.

WAGA-TV's Tony Thomas and The Associated Press contributed to this report.