A teacher in southern Africa allegedly used a barbecue grill to burn the dismembered remains of her disabled daughter, according to regional media outlets.
Investigators say the suspect is a 49-year-old teacher from Ongwediva, a town in the Oshana Region. Authorities have not released the woman’s name, but her daughter has been identified as 26-year-old Magdalena Nunyango Amunyoko, The Namibian reported.
The grisly slaying was discovered Saturday, when Amunyoko’s brother, a student at the University of Namibia, went to check on her. According to The Namibian, Amunyoko was born with a rare condition that restricted her body functions, left her bedridden and with slurred speech.
Amunyoko’s mother reportedly refused to tell her son where his sister was, so he searched the home for her. It was outside, on a barbecue grill stand, that he found the gruesome remains of his sister, New Era reported.
When authorities arrived on the scene, Amunyoko’s mother allegedly refused to let them inside her home. Investigators reportedly broke down the front door to gain entry.
“We found a dustbin with ashes and other burned items and when it was lifted up, we found a human body, which was identified to be that of the late 27-year-old woman,” Oshana Regional Police Commander Ndahangwapo Kashihakumwa told The Namibian Sun.
Inside the home, investigators reportedly found handwritten letters on a table with the words “burn the enemy” written on them.
“She told the police that there are devils in the house and that she was seeing devils,” said Kashihakumwa.
In addition to the victim, police found the remnants of a television, a satellite dish and Amunyoko’s wheelchair.
Neighbors told local reporters they saw items burning in the suspect’s backyard Friday, but were unaware Amunyoko’s body was among them.
“We just thought [Amunyoko’s mom] was moving out of the house or something… We saw her burning things and we still just thought she was cleaning up her yard,” a unidentified neighbor told The Namibian.
The preliminary police investigation indicates the victim was hacked to death with a machete Friday, before she was burnt on the barbecue grill.
Authorities have not provided local media outlets with any more details about how they believe Amunyoko’s death occurred, but did reportedly say many of her body parts were reduced to ashes.
Police are also investigating Foursquare Gospel Church. The suspect was an attendee and investigators are concerned about the church’s alleged doctrine in dealing with demons and evil spirits.
“We are suspecting the church to have had a hand in the death based on what the suspect was saying and complaints from other people in the region that some churches contribute to confusing people,” Kashihakumwa told The Namibian Sun.
Foursquare Gospel Church did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Huffington Post on Monday. Speaking with The Namibian Sun, Pastor Festus Negumbo said the suspect had not been active in the church for about a year.
“We do not teach people about demons and devils, which will confuse them, but we teach people about morality,” Negumbo said. “She has not been coming to church for over a year now and we tried to reach out to her, but she isolated herself. She never said anything about demons in her house to the church.”
The suspect is being held in the psychiatric ward of a local hospital, pending her Monday arraignment in the Oshakati Magistrates’ Court.