Judge revokes bond for parents charged in death of Benton County, Mo., girl

Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 2:29 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WARSAW, Mo. (KY3) - The parents of a four-year-old girl killed in Benton County returned to jail after a grand jury indicted the two on first-degree murder charges. A judge revoked their bond on Wednesday.

“The Masts were very upset because they had no knowledge that their bonds were revoked,” said Sheriff Eric Knox.

Prosecutors charged the Masts, Kourtney Aumen and Ethan Mast, in the death of four-year-old Jessica Mast. Aumen faces a second-degree murder charge. James and Mary Mast are the girl’s parents.

On December. 20, 2020, deputies responded to a rural home near Cole Camp and found the couple’s four-year-old, Jessica, wrapped in a blanket on a bedroom floor. Investigators said the girl was already dead and had bruises on her body, along with ruptured blisters. Sheriff Eric Knox said the girl’s parents also had been beaten along with a two-year-old child. An infant son of the couple was apparently unharmed.

According to court documents, investigators say neighbors killed a four-year-old girl to “remove a demon.” Investigators say the girl was beaten with a belt, then taken to a pond behind the home and dunked in the water. It remains unclear when the child died.

Sheriff Knox says it was emotional for the two. All four defendants are in the Benton County Jail.

The case has shaken up the community.

“The community feels very strongly about this case because we don’t have stuff like that happen in Benton County. This is a very rural community, a very country community. So a case of that magnitude just doesn’t happen here in Benton County. The public wants justice,” said Sheriff Knox.

Ethan Mas pleaded guilty earlier this year. Kourtney Aumen will be back in court in January.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com