12 members of Australian religious group arrested over 8yo girl’s death
Twelve members of a religious group in Australia have been arrested after an eight-year-old girl was allegedly denied medical care before she died.
The group of men and women, aged between 19 and 65, are expected to be charged with murder on Tuesday.
Queensland Police allege Elizabeth Struhs had an underlying health condition and was denied medication for around six days at a home in Rangeville, south of Brisbane.
The child had type 1 diabetes and was denied insulin, the BBC reports.
Struhs’ parents were charged with her murder three days after her body was found on January 8.
Police allege 12 people arrested on Tuesday were present while her health deteriorated, “were aware of the girl’s medical condition and did not seek medical assistance”.
It is alleged Struhs passed away on January 7, with emergency services contacted on January 8.
Regional Crime Coordinator Detective Acting Superintendent Garry Watts said the investigation was unprecedented.
“It will be alleged that 14 people in total made the choice to deny this young girl her right to medical care,” Mr Watts said.
“The arrests are the result of a six-month investigation, in which all officers involved were dedicated to ensuring those alleged to be responsible for her death, are brought before the court.”
A search was carried out at a residence in Homestead Avenue, in Harristown, where the 12 residents were taken into custody.
Struhs sister, Jayde, has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for other siblings in the family.
She described fleeing the “cult” that her parents were a part of at age 16.
“People may not know that Elizabeth was one of 8 children, two now of adult age, including myself and five remaining siblings under 18 ranging from 3 to 16. With much ahead of us yet to be determined, I am resolute that my number one priority is the children.”
The page has raised more than AUD$17,000 (£9631).