The child died at her family home in Rangeville, South Queensland, on January 7 after allegedly being “deprived of medical attention for a period of approximately six days”, according to state police.
Emergency services were not contacted until around 5:30 p.m. on January 8, the day after his death, according to police.
This brings the total number of suspects charged with murder in the case to 14.
The girl’s parents – a 47-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man – were charged in January with “murder, torture and disregard of the necessities of life”, according to Queensland Police. Their last court appearance was in June.
Police allege the 12 people newly charged with murder were present during the time leading up to the girl’s death and did not seek medical assistance despite knowing she had an underlying medical condition. underlying.
The 8-year-old’s sister, who left the church group when she was 16, described their family environment as a place where “you didn’t deviate”.
“The belief is that God heals… We didn’t go to the doctors, we didn’t get any help outside of our group,” she told CNN affiliate Seven News.
The 14 suspects, ages 19 to 65, “have made the choice to deny this young girl her right to medical care,” Acting Regional Superintendent Garry Watts said in the statement.
He added that the charges were the culmination of an “unprecedented” six-month police investigation.
“Having 14 people charged with murder – I haven’t seen anything like this in almost 40 years of policing,” he told Seven News on Wednesday.
The defendants have been taken into custody and are due in court on July 6.