'Cult leader' accused of murdering multiple children over decades
Micanopy, Fla.
   
 
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MICANOPY, Florida -- A Florida woman who police describe as a "cult leader" is accused of murdering multiple children over several decades.


It's been a long road for investigators, WCJB reports.

"I think the extent of how long this took place going clear back to the 60s is the most shocking this here," said Alachua County Sheriff's Office PIO Art Forgey.

A year's worth of digging revealed Anna Elizabeth Young responsible for the torturous abuse and death of multiple children, the sheriff's office said.

"Witnesses came forward from the House of Prayer alleging brutality and even some children being murdered," Forgey said.

This week, Young was indicted by a grand jury for the unlawful death of little Emon Harper, also known as Moses, who deputies say Young was related to.

But the deputies say they have reason to believe she's been hiding an even darker past.

"It's not just one isolated incident of beatings. There were numerous children that were beaten, locked in solitary confinement, food-withheld," Forgey said.
The matriarch of a cult-like boarding school in Micanopy, Mother Anna was charged with felony child abuse in 1992. Young fled from Florida, but was captured eight years later.

In 2001, she was sentenced to six months and 12 days in jail for bathing a 12-year-old girl in a steel tub with chemicals causing severe chemical burns.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg that we know of," Forgey said.

Several people came forward within the last year, police said, to accuse Young of torturing, punishing, caging, and starving children at the house of prayer, which authorities are calling the "house of horrors."

"The arrest is in no means going to close this case, because there is so much more and so many more potential victims and witnesses," Forgey said.

Young was arrested in Georgia Thursday night. It's unclear when she will be extradited to Florida.
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