Religion Poisons Everything: Missouri parents watched as their 4-year-old child was killed as a result of a brutal exorcism in which the little girl was beaten and dunked in icy cold water.
The parents, as well as those allegedly conducting the exorcism, now face multiple criminal charges.
KMOV4 reports the parents have been arrested and are being held without bond:
Mary S. Mast, 29 and James A. Mast, 28, both of Lincoln, Missouri, were charged Thursday with felony child endangerment resulting in death and are jailed without bond. They don’t yet have attorneys.
The fatal exorcism was conducted by neighbors who also attended the same church as the parents. The Daily Beast reports:
Neighbors have been charged in the killing in a “religious-type event” that involved beating and dunking a 4-year-old girl in icy water to “remove demons” as the parents watched.
Neighbors Ethan Mast, 35, (no relation to the parents), and Kourtney Aumen, 21, were charged with second-degree murder, three counts of first-degree assault, and sexual abuse for the child’s death last week. Both families are members of the same church, which has not been identified.
KMBC News explains:
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office said the 4-year-old girl was found dead at the family home on Dec. 20. Knox said she had been severely beaten and dunked in an icy pond as part of what appeared to be a “religious-type episode.”
Commenting on the heinous crime, Benton County Sheriff Eric Knox said:
I have received many letters, calls and emails of concern regarding this child’s death and the surrounding circumstances to be the actions of a cult. During interviews with investigators and the media, there have been some references to God and demons. Additional interviews have been held with family members, both local and out of state, as well as others who know the parties involved. None of the actions contained in this case are condoned by the church they attended. The investigation done so far indicates that this is an isolated incident and not the actions of a cult.
When a crime of this magnitude occurs, it affects everyone in its aftermath from first responders to next of kin, community, church and beyond. This will continue to be an ongoing investigation as we wait for the medical examiner’s report and any further information, we may be able to develop in time. Further charges may be sought by Benton County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Rod Richardson as all the evidence is considered.
Bottom line: Missouri parents watched as their 4-year-old child was killed as a result of a brutal exorcism during which their little girl was beaten and dunked in icy cold water.