FRANKFURT, Germany, Dec. 10 (UPI) — German police have arrested five relatives of a South Korean woman who died after she was gagged and beaten during an apparent exorcism ritual in a Frankfurt hotel.
The family members of the 41-year-old woman wanted to “drive out a demon” they believed possessed her, chief prosecutor Nadja Niesen said, as quoted by BBC News. The woman died Saturday after she was beaten in her chest and stomach. A towel and cloth-covered coat hanger had been pushed into her mouth to stop her screams.
“This isn’t something that happens often at all,” the prosecutor’s office spokesperson told The Local. “It’s an extremely unusual case.”
The five people held under suspicion of murder arrived to Frankfurt about six weeks ago. It is unclear which religions the suspects practice.
Another possible victim was found in the town of Sulzbach, west of Frankfurt. She was found injured, and suffering hypothermia and dehydration in the garage of a house the group rented.
The deceased woman’s 15-year-old son is among the suspects and may have taken part in the violence. A 44-year-old woman, her 21-year-old son, her 19-year-old daughter and another 15-year-old boy are also in custody.