We now know the motive behind the death of a 4-year-old child in Benton County.
Officials say the child’s father, 28-year-old James Mast of Lincoln, told deputies that the entire family had been beaten, sexually abused and assaulted for the past two weeks by their neighbors.
Investigators say 35-year-old Ethan Mast and 21-year-old Kourtney Aumen believed that the wife of the children, 28-year-old Mary Mast, was possessed by a demon.
A probable cause statement indicated that the father told police that Ethan Mast and Kourtney Aumen also threatened him, saying if he did not comply, someone would get shot, and that if he or his wife provided aid or comfort to the children or themselves, it would be a sin, and satan would come.
Benton County Sheriff’s deputies found the child Sunday, wrapped in a pink blanket in her bed. They say she had been beaten, submerged in a pond and left to freeze.
Mary Mast and their 2-year-old son were also severely beaten and continue to recover at Bothwell Regional hospital.
Ethan Mast and Kourtney Aumen are being held in the Benton County Jail on no bond.