Police arrested seven people after the corpse of a cult leader was found enshrined with Christmas lights in a Colorado home late last month.
Amy Carlson, the 45-year-old leader of the group “Love Has Won,” was found dead April 28 in a home in Moffat, Colorado, wrapped in a sleeping bag, according to the arrest affidavits, the New York Post reported.
Police had received a tip from a follower, Miguel Lamboy ,who said he had taken in a group of people who needed a place to stay; he said he found the body after he returned from a trip to Denver.
Lamboy told police that the corpse’s eyes were missing and he tried to leave the house with his son, but the people there would not let Lamboy take him, according to the outlet.
The “mummified remains appeared to be set up in some type of shrine” and had “what appears to be glitter type makeup on around the eyes,” authorities told the New York Post.
Two children — a 13-year-old girl and Lamboy’s 2-year-old boy — also were found in the home at the time.
The seven suspects were taken into custody and charged with abuse of a corpse and child abuse.
The suspects later were identified as Ryan Kramer, Christopher Royer, Sarah Rudolph, Karin Raymond, Jason Castillo, John Robertson and Obdulia Franco, CBS News reported.
When the suspects were interviewed, they did not refer to Carlson as “deceased” but instead said she was “out of communication,” according to the Daily Beast.
The affidavits also outlined complaints the sheriff’s office had received that “Love Has Won” is brainwashing people and stealing from them.
Carlson said she was a divinity who had lived 534 lives, including ones as Jesus Christ and Marilyn Monroe, according to The Washington Post.
Her family holds her responsible for leading the cult but believes she was brainwashed in the beginning and the cult members left her in the end.
“She was a victim in the beginning,” her mother, Linda Haythorne, told the outlet.
“And then it just developed over time.”
Haythorne said a friend of her daughter’s had seen Carlson alive in California on April 10.
“Even though she wasn’t innocent in all this, she didn’t deserve to die the way she did,” said Carlson’s sister, Chelsea Renninger.
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