A 4-year-old woman died after being dunked in an icy pond and overwhelmed by two neighbors who claimed it was essential to take away a “demon,” a Missouri sheriff mentioned Tuesday.
Ethan Mast, 35, and Kourtney Aumen, 21, are charged with second-degree homicide and different offenses. Each are jailed with out bond and don’t but have attorneys, based on court docket information.
“Primarily based on what I do know, I believe this could possibly be some form of honest-to-goodness religious-type episode,” Benton County Sheriff Eric Knox mentioned in a cellphone interview. The suspects and the victimized household belonged to the identical church, however Knox declined to call the church or its denomination.
Deputies had been referred to as round 1 a.m. Sunday to a rural house close to the city of Cole Camp and located the 4-year-old wrapped in a blanket on a bed room ground. A possible trigger assertion from Sgt. Chris Wilson mentioned the woman was already lifeless and had “extreme purple bruising” over her physique, together with ruptured blisters.
Knox mentioned the woman’s mother and father additionally had been overwhelmed together with a 2-year-old youngster. An toddler son of the couple was apparently unhurt. The mom, 28-year-old Mary Mast, and the toddler are hospitalized. Their situations weren’t instantly out there. The daddy of the youngsters, James Mast, didn’t require hospitalization.
Regardless of having the identical final names, Mary and James Mast should not associated to Ethan Mast, Knox mentioned.
Ethan Mast and Aumen reside throughout the highway from the household. James Mast instructed investigators that the beatings had occurred over a number of days and that he and his spouse noticed them however had been instructed they’d be overwhelmed or shot in the event that they tried to intervene.
Nonetheless, Wilson requested James Mast “how he might let individuals do that to his household and he said they had been instructed (his spouse) had a ‘Demon’ inside her and her youngsters would find yourself identical to her if it was not taken care of,” Wilson wrote within the possible trigger assertion.
Ethan Mast instructed investigators that on Saturday, he and Aumen used a leather-based belt to beat the woman, the assertion mentioned. She was then taken to a pond behind the house the place she was “dunked” within the water on a day when excessive temperatures had been within the 40s.
Ethan Mast mentioned everybody then returned to the victims’ house. It wasn’t clear when the kid died. An post-mortem will decide the reason for demise. Knox mentioned proof indicated she was overwhelmed to demise.
Benton County, with about 19,000 residents, is about 100 miles (161 kilometers) southeast of Kansas Metropolis, Missouri.
“To have one thing of this magnitude occur in our sleepy little neighborhood is insane,” Knox mentioned.
Recommend a Correction