A 4-year-old girl was allegedly beaten to death and dunked in an icy pond by two neighbours who claimed the child had a demon inside of her.
Ethan Joel Mast, 35, and Kourtney Taylor Aumen, 21, were arrested on Monday December 21 on suspicion of murdering a child who lived on the same street as them.
Benton County Police said they were called to an address in Benton County, Missouri, following reports of a “possible domestic disturbance.”
The child’s father, who has not been identified, reportedly let officers in and led them upstairs to a 4-year-old girl, according to Law and Crime.
She was reportedly on the floor next to a bunk bed wrapped in a pink blanket and had visible open wounds and bruising from belt marks.
Courts documents claim the arriving officer questioned the father on how “he could let people do this to his family.”
The father allegedly said the family were told the child had a “demon” inside her, Law and Crime claim.
It has been reported that Mast allegedly admitted to beating a 2-year-old boy with a wooden spoon.
He also reportedly admitted to physically abusing a 4-year-old girl, and making her and another person go into a nearby pond.
In a Facebook post, Benton County said: “The father, of a rural Cole Camp residence, stated that his daughter had been beaten, submerged in a pond, then left to freeze on the bank before being taken back into the residence.
“The mother of the deceased and a two-year-old male child were also beaten to a severe extent.”
Detectives told the website the case is ongoing and it is not clear whether the children’s parents will face charges.
Both defendants face a coin of murder in the second degree, a count of sexual abuse in the first degree, and three counts of assault in the first degree.
Man and Aumen are being held without bond at Benton County Jail after pleading not guilty to all counts at a hearing on Tuesday.