Who was Elizabeth Struhs? Diabetic girl, 8, dies after being DENIED insulin as cult rituals by parents fail
Police claimed the couple believed that their daughter was suffering from 'worms' and God had '100 per cent promised healing'
Elizabeth Rose Struhs, an 8-year-old girl suffering from Type 1 diabetes, was found dead in her family's home in Queensland, which also served as a cult church. According to the police, her parents did not give her medicine and instead prayed for her to be cured. Besides her parents, 12 other members of the cult which comprised seven women and five men were also arrested by the police and were charged with murder. They were aged between 19 and 64.
The local authorities found her body on January 11 but they suspect that she died four days earlier. Elizabeth's parents, Jason Struhs, 50, and 46-year-old Kerrie were arrested earlier this year as part of the investigations into Elizabeth's death. Police also alleged that her parents reportedly held a "prayer ritual" where they invited up to 20 members of the radical religious group to play guitar and sing over her sick body instead of providing her with the necessary treatment. It was only after then they called the emergency services at around 5:30 am the following day.
"All of the 12 arrested were aware of the child's condition, were there at the address, and did not take any steps to provide medical assistance to the child," police allege. 9News previously reported that the group was aware of Elizabeth's complicated health conditions and illness but still they denied her the basic care that she needed. They were in the belief that she would be "healed by God". The cult members called themselves "The Saints" and were made up of three families, including children.
Police also claimed that the couple believed that their daughter was suffering from "Worms" and God had “100 per cent promised healing”. Along with the 12 cult members, the couple was also charged with one count of murder, torture, and failure to provide necessities of life.
Jayde Struhs, Elizabeth's elder sister, escaped the cult when she was only 16 "due to the fear driven and controlling beliefs the cult my parents are apart of" and has since vowed to care for her five other siblings who are all under 18 years of age. Jayde, who is also apparently a lesbian, said "They take the religion to its extremes, separating us from the real world and extended family who did not believe." "We sadly discovered the death of Elizabeth in the cruellest of ways. With so many unanswered questions, we have faced the brutal reality that the people who should have protected her did not, and we may never know the full extent of what took place," she wrote.
Jayde opened a GoFundMe page to raise funds so that she can take care of her young siblings. She graduated high school, is involved in community sports, and lives in Brisbane with her partner Emma.