A couple forced their neighbours to sexually abuse their own four-year-old daughter, then they tortured the child to death, police say.
Kourtney Aumen, 21, and her partner Ethan Mast, 35, are said to have beaten their neighbours’ young child from head to toe and dunked her in a freezing lake, before leaving her to die of her injuries.
The pair, from Warsaw in Missouri, US, was arrested after the child died on Sunday, Dec 20.
They allegedly told police they were targeting their neighbours for torture because the family’s mother was possessed by a “demon.”
Police were called to the home of the neighbours, who have not been named, and discovered the couple’s four-year-old daughter’s body wrapped in a blanket and covered with bruises.
She had been beaten with a wooden spoon, leather belt, punched and submerged in freezing water.
The girl’s dad told detectives that Aumen and Mast had been torturing him, his wife, his two sons and their late daughter.
Police found the man’s wife covered in dark bruises on her face and back. The couple’s two-year-old son was also badly bruised, although their youngest son, an infant, had no visible injuries.
Investigators were told how Aumen and Mast had come over and started beating the two-year-old with a wooden spoon while forcing his parents to watch.
Asked why he hadn’t intervened, the dad said he’d been told by Aumen and Mast that it was the only way to remove “Satan” from his wife. They are also said to have threatened to kill him, according to KRCG.
The abuse meted out to the family escalated over the coming days.
It is alleged that Aumen and Mast even forced the parents to sexually abuse their four-year-old daughter.
On Sunday, Aumen and Mast are said to have shown up to beat the girl with a leather belt, prompting her to cry out for help. She was then taken outside and submerged in a freezing pond, with her head held underwater.
Mast is said to have punched and flogged the girl with a belt while beating her two-year-old brother with a wooden spoon and forcing their dad to watch.
The girl was left shivering and died shortly afterwards.
Aumen and Mast left but were arrested shortly after and now face second-degree murder as well as assault and sexual abuse charges.
Aumen’s Facebook page biography reads: “The heavens are roaring! The praise of your glory, for you oh God ‘are raised to LIFE again!’ “
They are being held in jail ahead of their next court hearing. It is unclear whether the murdered girl’s parents will also face criminal action.