BUKIT MERTAJAM: A FAMILY'S obsession with the supernatural and occult took a tragic turn when a toddler was killed in
an exorcism that went horribly wrong. The 2-year-old girl's parents were among eight family members and a foreign maid who took part in the ritual that lasted nearly 20 hours before it was broken up by policemen at their home in Taman
Bukit Minyak, Bukit Tengah, here, on Sunday night.
The victim's father is an engineer in a multinational electronic company based at Kulim Hi-Tech Park in Kedah, while her mother is an alternative medical practitioner. The mother is also three months pregnant.
It was learnt that the family was convinced that the girl was possessed and put her through the ritual to cleanse her from evil spirits. A police party that arrived at the house after being tipped-off, was shocked to find the suspects pinning down the girl in the master bedroom of the double-storey house.
Police immediately pulled the adults off the girl but it was too late.The girl was believed to have died of suffocation.
A source close to the family said she became suspicious when the suspects,which included the toddler's parents,grandmother, aunts, cousins and their Indonesian maid had locked themselves in the room since 2am on Sunday.
"They did not leave the room at all, not even for a meal and did not bother to switch on the lights and the air-conditioner," she said.
The family members were earlier seen praying and burning red packets in front of the house, which caught the neighbours' attention.
Several neighbours asked what the family was doing but they were told off and
warned not to meddle.
At 7.30pm on Sunday, the girl's uncle came to the house with his wife for their usual Sunday dinner with the family.
The man's wife said one of the sisters in the family, who was obsessed with the supernatural, told them to leave the house as they "were possessed".
That woman was a schoolteacher who was sacked several months ago after she allegedly started spreading religious messages to her students.
"My husband and I left and had dinner elsewhere but he was disturbed and decided to call the police," she said.
Seberang Perai Tengah district police chief Assistant Commissioner Azman Abd Lah said the victim died from asphyxiation, based on the post-mortem conducted at the Seberang Jaya Hospital.
Azman said they have detained the eight suspects, between the ages of
16 and 67. The case has been classified as murder.