A woman from Haiti who acted as a "spiritual leader" to a small group of people living on a Colorado farm is accused of “punishing” two girls by keeping them in a car without food or water for several weeks before their dead bodies were found.
Madani Ceus, 37, faces murder charges in connection with the deaths of 10-year-old Makayla Roberts and 8-year-old Hannah Marshall. Additionally, Nashika Bramble, the girls' mother, was also charged with murder while three other adults on the farm were charged with fatal child abuse, reported the Associated Press
According to the arrest affidavit, the owner of the farm, located just 30 miles away from Telluride, told San Miguel County Sheriff investigators he met the group of five adults and four children at a gas station in May. During the meeting, Frederick Blair invited the group of nine to use his land.
Blair said Ceus instructed the group to call her "Ama" or "Yahweh" and the girls were ordered to stay in the car because Ceus believed they were "unclean."
Nathan Yah, another member of the group, told police the girls were allowed to leave the car to use the bathroom and did receive food and water. However, when police questioned Ceus, she "would not say who was responsible" for keeping the girls in the car.
According to the affidavit, Blair, who joined the group to live on the farm, told his father about the girls' deaths on Sept. 8. After his father called the local sheriff's office, deputies searched the land and found the girls' bodies in a car. Officers said the bodies "had been in the car for an extended period of time."
During later questioning with police, Blair said he believed the girls died in June and that he and Yah covered the car with a tarp.
All five adults facing charges in connection with the girls' deaths are due in court on Nov. 20 in San Miguel County.
(Photo: San Miguel Sheriff via Twitter)