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The parents of a 4-year-old Missouri girl were charged with her death last week.
Mary Mast, 29, and James Mast, 28, were arrested in Stover, Missouri, on Christmas Eve, Benton County Sheriff Eric Knox said in a press release.
James Mast and Mary Mast Charged After killing daughter in icy pond. Their #Christianity beliefs led them to believe the child had a demon. Terrorism or white mental illness? https://t.co/RBQVBTcjAO pic.twitter.com/UWxgGUOq9e
— EqualizerHumanity (@EqualizerHuman1) December 29, 2020
Mary is accused of compromising the welfare of a first degree child and causing death and first degree domestic violence, the sheriff said.
James is also accused of endangering a child’s welfare and causing death in their first year as well as endangering the well-being of a first year and d ‘have caused serious personal injury.
Both are being held without bail. The couple’s request to attend their daughter’s funeral was denied by Associate Judge Mark Brandon Pilley during his trial on Monday, ABC News reported. A hearing was scheduled for Monday, January 5th, for James and Mary, who are reported to have pleaded not guilty.
The couple’s other children, a baby and a 2-year-old boy, were taken into police custody.
Official Press Release
In the official press release, Knox said the sheriff’s office had received numerous phone calls claiming “the death and circumstances of the 4-year-old” were “acts of worship” and that “there are” references to God and damnation “.
However, Knox said that “research so far shows that this is an isolated incident and NOT a sectarian act.” While the masts were attending a church, “none of the acts involved in this matter will be tolerated by the church they attended,” he said.
Affects on Family Members
“When a crime of this magnitude occurs, it affects everyone from first responders to family members, the community, the church and beyond,” the statement said. “This will remain an ongoing investigation as we await the coroner’s report and any additional information we can develop in a timely manner.”
On December 20, the sheriff’s office announced that the package in Benton County was delivered shortly before 1:00 a.m. about the death of the 4 year old child. In a press release at the time, Knox said James told police, “his daughter was beaten, plunged into a pond, and frozen on the bank before being sent back to the residence.”
Mary and the couple’s 2-year-old son “were also badly beaten,” said the sheriff’s office, and taken to Bothwell Regional Hospital.
Mast’s neighbors, Ethan J. Mast, 35, and Kourtney T. Aumen, 21, were arrested at the time, according to the report, when “several crimes were charged,” including second degree murder. . ABC. New.
According to Knox’s press release, Ethan is said to have nothing to do with John and Mary, according to multiple reports.
According to a likely ABC News court hearing, Mary and James told police that Ethan and Aumen told them they would be beaten or killed if they tried to interrupt Ethan and Aumen by beating their daughter.
The statement filed by the court stated that when asked how he could allow people to beat his family, James said that “he was told that (his wife) had a ‘demon’ within her. And that her children would have become what she would have been if she hadn’t been cared for. ”
Ethan reportedly admitted to investigators that he hit the 4-year-old girl with a leather belt before submerging her in a pond behind the house.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether James, Mary, Ethan, or Aumen had legal representation at the time.