The 1980’s Florida cold case involving the death of a toddler who was tortured and starved is one step closer to being closed as the woman who cared for the child was indicted on Friday.
Anna Elizabeth Young, 75, reportedly ran a religious boarding house that many say was actually a religious cult. In 2001, Young was convicted for bathing a child in her care in a tub full of chemicals, reported the Gainesville Sun.
Now investigators worry there may have been more young victims who met an early death at the hands of Young, said Alachua County Sheriff’s spokesman Art Forgey.
Young operated the House of Prayer for All People in Alachua County from about 1985 to 1995.
“We think there are many, many more. We can document other states and other missing children that we believe are tied into this,” Forgey told the Gainesville Sun. “They ran a religious institution — exorcising demons and other things like that. We have documentation involving her clear back the ’60s. We did extensive forensic examination on the property this summer. We are still analyzing the evidence that we gathered.”
Young’s recent indictment is in connection with the death of is accused of Emon Harper, who was around 2 or 3 years old at the time.
Cold case investigator Kevin Allen began exploring new leads in the murder and was able to uncover additional evidence, which resulted in Young’s indictment.
Other children who lived with Young, now generally in their 40s and 50s, have been giving the investigators working the case their full cooperation.
“It’s going to be a really complex case and there is a lot of sensitivity with the victims, who are all adults now,” Eighth Circuit State Attorney’s spokesman Darry Lloyd told the Gainesville Sun. “Their recall is very good because they’ve been through it.”
Young was arrested without incident and will be returned to Alachua County to face charges on Dec. 13.