Police investigate death of cult member

Nov. 19, 2012 at 4:49 PM
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KANSAS CITY, Mo., Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Following the death of a religious cult leader's wife in Missouri, he and the lifestyle of the group's members are under investigation, police said.

Bethany Deaton, 27, was buried Nov. 6, an apparent suicide, but three days later Micah Moore, 23, went to police to admit to her murder, saying the killing was ordered by her husband, Tyler Deaton, who leads the religious group out of his Grandview, Mo., home, court documents showed.

Moore stated in court filings Deaton feared his wife was about to reveal secrets about the group, including what witnesses said was young adults using sex as part of their religious experience, men in the group sexually assaulting Bethany Deaton over a period of months and Tyler Deaton's role as their "spiritual leader."

Witnesses' statements to authorities recall repeated druggings and sexual assaults of Bethany Deaton, with Moore allegedly saying group members feared she was about to tell her therapist of the incidents, The Kansas City (Mo.) Star reported Monday.

Bethany Deaton was found Oct. 31 dead in her van with a bag over her head and a note on the vehicle's console, the newspaper said, adding the Jackson County Sheriff's Office no longer considers her death a suicide.

Moore, who is charged with first-degree murder, committed the crime, his statement to police allegedly states, because Tyler Deaton told him he knew Moore "had it in him to do it."

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