An Oklahoma father is accused of brutally beating and murdering his 5-year-old daughter because he believed she was under the control of witchcraft, KTUL-TV reports.
Federal prosecutors have charged 29-year-old Adam Raymond Mason of Bristow, Oklahoma, with first-degree murder in connection with the death of his daughter earlier this week.
Investigators allege that Mason “punched, drowned, burned, and murdered” the girl, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
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The girl’s body was found on Wednesday after her mother asked for a welfare check, concerned when Mason would not let her speak with her daughter. Deputies discovered the girl’s burned remains in a creek bed near Mason’s residence in Bristow, a small community between Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Tulsa World reports.
Mason reportedly confessed to the crime and told investigators he “believed his daughter was controlled by witchcraft,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a press release.
“Mason then told investigators that he punched the victim, drowned her, then took her to a creek bed where he set her body on fire.”
As authorities were searching for Mason after coming upon the girl’s body, nearby schools and a childcare program were put on temporary lockdown.
U.S. Attorney Trent Shores called the case heartbreaking.“The alleged victim was set to start kindergarten next week,” Shores said in the press release. “Now, it is time for our criminal justice system to go to work.”
Federal authorities are handling the case because Mason and his daughter are members of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, a Native American reservation, and that is where the alleged crime occurred. That means the state of Oklahoma does not have jurisdiction.
Mason was convicted in 2011 of second-degree rape, according to the Tulsa World. He was later incarcerated in 2014 after failing to register as a sex offender.
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[Feature Photo: Adam Raymond Mason/Police Handout]