Couple charged with daughter’s murder held ‘prayer ritual’ before getting help

A couple charged with the murder of their eight-year-old daughter allegedly performed a “prayer ritual” before calling emergency services.

Jason Richard Struhs, 50, and Kerrie Elizabeth Struhs, 46, of Toowoomba, Australia, were also charged with torture and failing to provide the necessities of life.

Their daughter Elizabeth was found dead at home.

According to reports, the girl had become “extremely ill” and died last Friday, but the parents called a “group of religious friends to come over to pray to God to save their child”, rather than seeking immediate medical attention.

The daughter had previously suffered from swelling on her brain, and blood clots as a child, but a cause of death has yet been released.

She also suffered from Type 1 Diabetes, and had suffered from renal failure as a child.

But her mum claimed that she had worms instead – claiming that God had “promised healing” to her and her children, and that she held “facts and evidence” of God and the Bible, the Toowoomba Chronicle reports.

Local news reports claim that the couple, appearing at Toowoomba Magistrates Court this week, looked “emotionless”, as Mr Struhs refused an offer of legal counsel to represent him.

The grim discovery was found by local police at around 5.30pm on Saturday, as neighbours saw paramedics leaving the home “in tears” upon finding the daughter's body.

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Neighbours had also claimed that large crowds had appeared outside the home earlier that day, playing loud music and shouting.

It was also alleged that the mother is an “anti-vaxxer” who believed that God cured illnesses, not doctors or hospitals, the Daily Mail reports.

She had previously claimed that she didn't believe in the medical system as it was not “100% certain that if you go you would be healed”.

The couple will appear in court at a later date.

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