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Police say Kansas family feared children’s ‘demons’

LAWRENCE, Kan. — A child whose brother and sister were found bound and blindfolded in a Walmart parking lot in Kansas told an investigator that the family believed her younger siblings and their Illinois home was possessed by demons, a police officer testified Tuesday.

The children were discovered tied up, with duct tape over their eyes, outside the store in Lawrence in June. Their parents, 44-year-old Deborah Gomez and 52-year-old Adolfo Gomez Jr., are charged with two counts of child abuse and five counts of aggravated child endangerment.

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Lawrence police officer Hayden Fowler testified at a preliminary hearing to decide if the parents should stand trial. He said that an older daughter said the family was going to try to cast the demons from her 5-year-old brother and 7-year-old sister.

Fowler said one of the children told him that the family believed there were demons in their Northlake, Ill., home and outside their vehicle in the parking lot, and that the family had recently watched online videos about demons and ‘‘a fallen angel.’’

Fowler testified that one of the older children told him the younger siblings had been tied up because the family believed that ‘‘demons had overtaken their bodies.’’ He said the child told him that duct tape was placed over their eyes to protect them from demons.

The older daughter said they were going to try to cast the demons out of the younger children but did not say how they planned to do that.

Fowler said the daughter told him, ‘‘If the demons were to die, [the children] would die also.’’

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