2 charged with second-degree murder, child abuse in death of child in Benton County, Mo.

Published: Dec. 21, 2020 at 8:54 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 21, 2020 at 10:07 AM CST
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WARSAW, Mo. (KY3) - The Benton County, Mo. prosecutor filed a murder charge Monday morning in the beating death of a four-year-old child.

Authorities arrested two in the investigation, Ethan Mast, 35, and Kourtney Aumen, 21, of a neighboring Cole Camp residence. They each face second-degree murder, felony assault and child abuse charges.

A four-year-old girl died Sunday morning near Cole Camp. Investigators responded to a home near Buckskin Lane around 1 a.m. Sunday. Sheriff Eric Knox says the girl was beaten from head-to-toe. Sheriff Knox says the child’s father told authorities his daughter “had been beaten, submerged in a pond, then left to freeze on the bank before being taken back into the residence.” Investigators say the couple did it to beat the demon or evil out the mother and the child.

Investigators say the mother of the child who died and the child’s two-year-old brother were also found severely beaten. Both are recovering at a hospital in Sedalia. Sheriff Knox believes this abuse has been going on for a couple of weeks and an instrument was involved.

“To see a child in any kind of distress is terrible for first responders,” said Sheriff Knox. “In something to this magnitude, with a severe beating the child went through and the trauma she went through, it is very traumatic for everyone involved.”

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the incident and says more arrests are possible.

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