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Ethan Mast

Parents of 4-Year-Old Girl Charged In Her Death After Neighbors Killed Her to Remove “Demon”

Parents of a 4-year-old girl allegedly killed by neighbors to remove a “demon” face charges.

Benton County Sheriff Eric Knox said on Thursday that in Lincoln, Missouri, Mary S. Mast, 29, and James A. Mast were charged with felony and child endangerment resulting in death and are jailed without bond.

Mary S. Mast faces a domestic assault in the first-degree charge, and James A. Mast is also being charged with endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree resulting in serious physical injury. According to court records, they do not have attorneys.

According to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, the 4-year-old girl was found dead at the family’s 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.”

Court records say that Ethan Mast, 35, and Kourtney Aumen, 21, are charged with second-degree murder and other offenses. Both are jailed without bond and don’t yet have attorneys.

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.” He said, “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, and 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.”

He continued, “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 develop in time. Further charges may be sought by Benton County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Rod Richardson as all the evidence is considered.”

The suspects and the victimized family belonged to the same church, but Knox declined to name the church or its denomination.

On Dec. 20, deputies were called at around 1 a.m. to a rural home near the town of Cole Camp, Missouri, where they found the 4-year-old wrapped in a blanket on a bedroom floor. Sgt. In a probable cause statement, Chris Wilson said that the girl was already dead and had “severe purple bruising” over her body, along with ruptured blisters.

Knox said the girl’s parents also had been beaten along with a 2-year-old child. An infant son of the couple was apparently unharmed. Both were placed in protective custody.

Despite having the same last names, Mary Mast and James Mast are not related to Ethan Mast.

Ethan Mast and Aumen live across the road from the family.

James Mast told authorities that over several days the beatings had occurred and that he and his wife witnessed them but were told that they would be beaten or shot if they attempted to interfere.

Even so, Wilson asked James Mast “how he could let people do this to his family and he said they were told (his wife) had a “demon” inside her and if it was not taken care of, her kids would end up just like her,” Wilson wrote in the probable cause statement.

Ethan Mast told police that, the statement said, he and Aumen used a leather belt to beat the girl on Dec. 19. She was then taken to a pond behind the house on a day when temperatures were in the high 40s, where she was “dunked” in the water.

Ethan Mast said everyone returned to the victims’ home, but it wasn’t clear when the child died. An autopsy will determine the cause of death. Knox said evidence indicated she was beaten to death.

“To have something of this magnitude happen in our sleepy little community is insane,” Knox said.

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Hi All, my name is I’esha and I’ve been a writer for baller alert for 1 year and 2 months. I’m also a student and entrepreneur .

About Iesha

Hi All, my name is I’esha and I’ve been a writer for baller alert for 1 year and 2 months. I’m also a student and entrepreneur .

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