12 cult members arrested after death of eight-year-old girl in Australia

·2-min read
12 cult members arrested after death of eight-year-old girl in Australia

Twelve people have been arrested in Queensland, Australia, and charged with murder in connection with the death of an eight-year-old girl who was allegedly denied medical treatment.

According to the police, Elizabeth Rose Struhs, a type-1 diabetes patient was allegedly denied insulin access for six days by a fringe religious group in Toowoomba, who were aware of the child’s illness, reported 9News.au.

Police said that the members of the church group, which included the child’s parents, believed that the child would be “healed by god”.

Southern region detective acting superintendent Garry Watts said Elizabeth died on 7 January but emergency services were only notified at 5.30pm the next day.

On Tuesday morning, 30 officers arrested the 12 people, ranging in age from 19 to 64.

“All of the 12 arrested were aware of the child’s condition, were there at the address and did not take any steps to provide medical assistance to the child,” police said.

Elizabeth’s oldest sister Jayde Struhs, who ran away from home to escape her parents, said her extended family had been left “completely shattered and heartbroken” by the child’s death.

“We have faced the brutal reality that the people who should have protected her did not, and we may never know the full extent of what took place,” she wrote in a fundraiser set up to support Elizabeth’s siblings on GoFundMe.

The child’s parents had earlier been arrested during the course of the investigation and charged with murder, torture and failure to comply with necessities of life.

“It’s not the kind of situation we as investigators are faced with commonly,” Mr Watts said, referring to the six-month-long investigation.

“In my nearly 40 years of policing, I haven’t been faced with a matter like this.”

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