Candlelight Vigil For Slain 4 Year Old Girl

By: 
Anita Campbell
County Reporter
Deputies from the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mary S. Mast, 29, and James A. Mast, 28, at a residence in Stover, MO, on warrants issued out of Benton County on December 24 at 7:18 PM.
James and Mary were the parents of the four-year-old female victim from the homicide reported in the early morning hours of December 20, at a residence between Cole Camp and Lincoln.  
Mary is being charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child in the First Degree Resulting in Death (Felony A) and Domestic Assault in the First Degree (Felony A). 
James is being charged with Endangering the Welfare of a child in the First Degree Resulting in Death (Felony A) and Endangering the Welfare of a Child in the First Degree Resulting in Serious Physical Injury (Felony B) 
Both individuals are being held without bond, the Mast’s two-year-old son and infant son have been placed in protective custody. 
Benton County Sheriff Eric Knox said, “I have received many letters, calls and emails of concern regarding this child’s death and the surrounding circumstances to be the actions of a cult. During interviews with investigators and the media, there have been some references to God and demons. Additional interviews have been held with family members, both local and out of state, as well as others who know the parties involved. None of the actions contained in this case are condoned by the church they attended. The investigation done so far indicates that this is an isolated incident and NOT the actions of a cult.” 
“When a crime of this magnitude occurs, it affects everyone in its aftermath from first responders to next of kin, community, church and beyond. This will continue to be an ongoing investigation. Further charges may be sought by Benton County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Rod Richardson as all the evidence is considered,” Knox concluded.
A vigil for Jessica Mast will be held on January 5, 2021 at 8 PM at the Benton County Courthouse.  Everyone is invited to attend.  Please bring a candle.  Those attending are also welcome to bring a sign, photo or stuffed animal.

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