A 4 year old girl was killed on December 20, 2020 by her neighbors who claim she was possessed by a demon. The girls parents — Mary S. Mast and James A. Mast — face multiple charges after the death of the four-year-old girl. Allegedly, the parents allowed their neighbors, Ethan Mast, of no relation, and Kourtney Aumen, to beat their daughter with a belt before submerging her into an icy pond.
The neighbors have been charged with second-degree murder among other charges. The 4-year-old girl was found dead at the family home on December 20. Benton County Sheriff Eric Knox said she had been severely beaten and dunked in an icy pond as part of a, “religious type episode.”
A probable cause statement from Sgt. Chris Wilson said 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 children have been placed in protective custody.
When asked, “how he could let people do this to his family,” James Mast stated, “they were told his wife had a ‘demon’ inside her and her children would end up just like her if it was not taken care of.”
Authorities are not yet sure if the parents were complicit in the girl’s death or victims themselves. It could be both. The couples attended the same church, which authorities have not reported the name of.
While the authorities claim this is a one off, this is hardly the first time a death has occurred as the result of deluded religious thinking or a deranged belief in demons. The investigators don’t suspect mental illness.
Will pastors have the courage and good sense to tell their congregations that demons are merely metaphorical and figments of their imagination, or will they go on spreading the lie that Satan and demons are real?
If preachers speak of demons in church, they shouldn’t be surprised if some people take them seriously, then take matters into their owns hands if they genuinely believe others are possessed.
Regardless of how this ends legally, a little girl died in December of 2020 because people close to her believed in religious superstitions, then acted upon them.
The Masts’ two-year-old son and newborn have been placed in temporary foster care and are safe for now. The Masts have also been denied permission to attend their daughter’s funeral.