Australian police have charged 12 members of a religious group with the alleged murder of an 8-year-old girl, Australian police said in a statement on Tuesday.
The girl died at her family home in Rangeville, south Queensland, on January 7 after allegedly being “deprived of medical treatment for approximately six days”, according to state police.
Emergency services were not called until about 5:30 p.m. on January 8, the day after her death, according to police.
This brings the total number of murder suspects in the case to 14.
According to Queensland Police, the girl’s parents – a 47-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man – were charged in January with “murder, torture and failure to comply with the necessities of life”. Their last appearance in court was in June.
Police allege that all 12 of the new defendants accused of the murder were present during the period leading up to the girl’s death, and failed to seek medical help despite realizing she had an underlying health condition.
Acting Regional Superintendent Gary Watts said in the statement that the 14 suspects, aged between 19 and 65, “have made the decision to deny this young girl her right to medical care.”
He added that the charges were the culmination of an “unprecedented” investigation that lasted six months by the police.
The accused have been held in custody and are due to appear in court on July 6.