HERMOSILO, Mexico, March 31 (UPI) -- Two 10-year-old boys and a woman whose bodies were found in northern Mexico were sacrificed to Santa Muerte, the saint of death, investigators say.
The Sonora State Investigative Police announced Friday that eight people were charged with the killings, CNN reported. Most of the suspects are members of a single family and one is only 15.
The bodies were discovered in Nacozari de Garcia, a mining village 150 miles north of Hermosillo and 50 miles south of the U.S. border.
Investigators say the first victim was killed in 2009 and the last this month.
Jose Larrinaga, a spokesman for Sonoran prosecutors, called the worship of Santa Muerte a "Satanic cult." The saint, usually depicted as a skeletal woman carrying a scythe, is not recognized by the Catholic Church and is popular with drug gangs.
Prosecutors say that after the victims were killed their blood was offered on Santa Muerte's altar.