Seven people were arrested after authorities found mummified remains of a woman who was the leader of a controversial religious group inside a rural Colorado home last week.
An arrest affidavit from the Saguache County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) said that deputies searched a home in Moffat last Wednesday after a man who lived there told police he returned to the residence and found the woman’s body inside.
Moffat is located in the San Luis Valley, about 180 miles southwest of Denver.
The man, believed to be a follower of the religious group “Love Has Won,” told police the dead woman was known to him as “Lia Carlson.”
He described her as the leader of the group and told the deputies she “goes by the name ‘Mother God,'” according to the affidavit.
Numerous media reports about Love Has Won identify the group’s leader as Amy Carlson. It is unclear why the man called her “Lia” to law enforcement.
Carlson’s eyes were missing when her body was discovered by deputies in the home, according to the affidavit.
“The mummified remains appeared to be set up in some type of shrine,” SCSO said.
The man told deputies he believed five of the seven people drove the woman’s body from California to his Colorado residence, and that they showed up at his home looking for a place to stay. When he discovered the mummified woman, he tried to leave, but initially the people inside the home would not let him.
The woman had been dead for at least four weeks, and his office received dental records Tuesday that he hopes to use to confirm Carlson’s identity.
SCSO has received “many complaints from families within the United States” about the Love Has Won group, including allegations of brainwashing and monetary theft, according to the affidavit.
The group has members from all over the world, authorities say.
The seven individuals arrested were charged with abuse of a corpse as well as two counts of child abuse after two minors were found in the home, according to the arrest affidavits.