ALUCHUA COUNTY, Fla. —
A Florida woman who police describe as a cult leader is accused of murdering multiple children over several decades.
A year’s worth of digging revealed Anna Elizabeth Young is responsible for the torturous abuse and deaths of multiple children.
“I think the extent of how long this took place, going clear back into the 60’s, is the most shocking thing here,” said Art Forgey with the Alachua County sheriff’s office.
Young was indicted by a grand jury this week for the unlawful death of Emon Harper, also known as Moses, who deputies say Young was related to.
Young was arrested in Georgia Thursday night. It’s unclear when she will be extradited to Florida.
Deputies say they have reason to believe Young’s been hiding an even darker past.
“It’s not just one isolated incident of beatings,” Forgey said. “There were numerous children that were beaten, locked in solitary confinement, food withheld.”
The matriarch of a cult-like boarding school, Young was charged with felony child abuse in 1992. She fled from Florida, but was captured eight years later.
In 2001, she was sentenced to six months and 12 days in jail for bathing a 12-year-old girl in a steel tub with chemicals, causing severe burns.
Several people came forward within the last year, accusing Young of torturing, punishing, caging, and starving children at the House of Prayer, which authorities are calling the House of Horrors.
“The arrest is no means going to close this case, because there is so much more and so many more potential victims and witnesses,” Forgey said.