Chilean sect leader accused of killing 3-day-old boy found dead: police
This undated file photo released by Chile's Police Investigative Unit, shows Ramon Gustavo Castillo Gaete, 36, who authorities said is the leader of a 12-member sect that is accused of burning a baby alive. (Chile's Police Investigative Unit)
Published Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:52PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 1, 2013 10:16PM EDT
LIMA, Peru -- The body of a Chilean man accused in the ritual killing of a 3-day-old boy was found hanging by the neck from a cord in an abandoned house early Wednesday in the highlands city of Cuzco, police said.
Ramon Castillo, 36, was hanging from a beam on the second floor of the house, wearing jeans, a grey jacket, a cap, shoes and a backpack, Gen. Javier Avalos, the regional police chief, told reporters.
He said the body was identified through fingerprints that Chile sent via Interpol. He said it was too early to say whether Castillo's death was suicide.
Police in neighbouring Chile had been seeking Castillo and two other members of the sect that he led for their alleged participation in the baby's slaying on a hill in the town of Colliguay near the Chilean port of Valparaiso on Nov. 23.
The child's mother was arrested last week along with three other members of the sect. She allegedly approved the sacrifice.
Chilean police have said the baby was thrown onto a bonfire because Castillo and his followers believed the child was the antichrist.
Authorities said the 12-member sect was formed in 2005 and counted among its members professionals with university degrees.
Police said the group's rituals included using ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic plant that grows in Amazon forests.