A Missouri sheriff says a 4-year-old girl died after being dunked in an icy pond and beaten by two neighbors who claimed it was necessary to remove a “demon."

35-year-old Ethan Mast and 21-year-old Kourtney Aumen are charged with second-degree murder and other offenses. Benton County Sheriff Eric Knox says the crime appears to be the result of “some kind of honest-to-goodness religious-type episode."

Deputies were called Sunday to a rural home near Lincoln and found the 4-year-old wrapped in a blanket.

A probable cause statement says she had severe bruising and blisters over her body.

Both Mast and Aumen, booked on Sunday at 1:30 a.m., were being held at the Benton County Jail with no bond. They were charged with 2nd degree murder, 1st degree assault and 1st degree sexual abuse.

Benton County Jail