Tuesday August 7, 2012
Exorcism leaves toddler dead
By M. SIVANANTHA SHARMA
BUKIT MERTAJAM: A toddler died during what is believed to be a 20-hour exorcism ritual. Police stormed a double-storey house in Taman Bukit Minyak on Sunday night and found a group of eight people lying on top of the two-year-old girl.
The girl was lying face down under the human pile made up of her parents, grandmother, uncle, aunt, two cousins and their Indonesian maid.
Central Seberang Prai OCPD Asst Comm Azman Abd Lah said the family members, aged between 16 and 67, were lying on top of each other with the toddler at the bottom in the master bedroom. The lights in the room were switched off.
“The child died due to breathing difficulties,” he said. Her body has been sent to the Seberang Jaya Hospital for a post-mortem.
The case, he added, was being investigated under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.
Apparently, another of the girl's uncles had earlier come by to invite the family for dinner but was chased away.
However, he returned to the house with his wife a few hours later to find the main door locked. Suspecting something amiss, he alerted the police.
It is understood that the ritual had started at 2am on Sunday with the family, who was fasting, being confined to the second floor room.
The group was brought to a magistrate's court here at about 11am yesterday and ordered to be placed under remand until Aug 12.
One woman, believed to be the girl's aunt, was seen moving her lips and swinging her hands during the court proceedings.
It is also learnt that the girl's mother, who is three months' pregnant, was not produced in court as she had been admitted to the Bukit Mertajam Hospital.