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Seven people have been arrested after the “mummified” body of a suspected cult leader was found in a rural Colorado home last week.
The decomposing remains of Lia “Amy” Carlson — known by her followers as “Mother God” — were found in Moffat, Colorado on April 28. She was the purported spiritual leader of the Love Has Won religious group. Two children were also found in the home.
Foul play isn’t suspected in the 45-year-old’s death, authorities said.
Ryan Kramer, 30, John Robertson, 32, Jason Castillo, 45, Christopher Royer, 35, Ma Obdulia Franco-Gonzalez, Karin Raymond, 47, and Sarah Rudolph have been charged with abuse of a corpse and child abuse.
On April 28, sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Moffat home of one of the religious group’s followers. Miguel Lamboy, 42, told detectives he’d found a grey corpse with missing eyes in his house after letting a group of Love Has Won followers stay there, according to a probable cause statement obtained by Oxygen.com.
Investigators found Carlson’s mummified corpse wrapped in a sleeping bag in the back bedroom of the home. Her remains were allegedly decorated with Christmas lights and glitter makeup. County authorities described the scene as a makeshift shrine.
“There was some makeup on the corpse and some essential oils, incense — stuff like that to control the odor of the remains,” Saguache County Sheriff Dan Warwick told Oxygen.com.
Lamboy later told detectives that Kramer, Castillo, Raymond, and Robertson had shown up at his residence looking for a place to stay after finishing up some errands in the Denver area. He let the group stay and left the following morning. Lamboy found the remains upon returning home, according to law enforcement.
“The body appeared to be mummified, with Ms. Carlson’s teeth exposed through the lips,” the probable cause statement alleged.
The exact date of Carlson’s death is unknown. Investigators estimate she likely died several weeks ago.
“[She] was partially mummified to the degree that the skin was dehydrated and up against the skeletal structure of the body,” Warwick added.
Authorities suspect the remains were transported from either California or Oregon in recent days in a Nissan Rogue registered to Franco-Gonzalez. The SUV was found at the home where Carlson’s body was discovered, and its rear passenger seat was laid down in a position consistent with “someone transporting the mummified remains,” according to the probable cause statement.
Autopsy results weren’t immediately available this week. The cause and manner of Carlson’s death aren’t yet confirmed.
“It doesn’t look like there’s any foul play at this point,” Warwick said. “We’re waiting on the pathology now. We’re hoping that will tell us if there was any type of substance in her blood that would explain her death.”
Authorities are also waiting on dental records and possible DNA tests to identify the remains.
“We cannot say positively it is Amy Carlson,” Warwick explained. “The deceased has not been positively ID’d. We think it is.”
Investigators were puzzled as to why Carlson’s followers didn’t previously report her death.
“I don’t know if there is a motive,” Warwick said. “I don’t know if they have a belief system for the reason they have done this. I do not know why they would maintain control over this, maintaining the body instead of calling a coroner to come to take care of the remains.”
Kramer, Robertson, Castillo, Royer, Franco-Gonzalez, Raymond, and Rudolph were subsequently booked into a Rio Grande County jail.
Love Has Won is based in Crestone, Colorado. The suspected cult has been accused of “brainwashing people and stealing their money” by families across the United States, according to authorities. Critics and former members have accused Love Has Won of abuse and psychological coercion. Last year, the group allegedly left one follower to die in the Colorado desert, Guru Magazine reported. The group has an estimated 20 followers in Saguache County.
Carlson, commonly referred to as “Mother God,” “Mama Jesus,” or “Mom” by followers, previously declared she was the reincarnation of Joan of Arc and Marilyn Monroe and claimed to be a Hawaiian goddess of fire. Her worshippers supposedly believed she’d ascend through an ocean portal or by way of a spaceship.
She also reportedly told followers Donald Trump was her father and that she could spiritually communicate with deceased actor Robin Williams.
Love has Won’s future remains uncertain following the suspected death of Carlson. However, some of the group’s critics suspect its followers are still actively recruiting new members.
According to some of the group’s former members, the death of Carlson was anticipated; they noted her condition had deteriorated in recent months.
“I was not surprised at her passing,” Andrew Profaci told CBS Denver. “She was not in very good health and getting worse.”
Profaci, who said he left the group, described Love Has Won as a cult.
“These people were solely focused on worshipping her as a Mother God instead of focusing on an awakening and helping people,” he added.
In 2020, Carlson appeared on "Dr. Phil" with other Love Has Won followers.
Kramer, Robertson, Castillo, Royer, Franco-Gonzalez, Raymond, and Rudolph appeared in Saguache County court on Tuesday, according to court records. It’s unclear if they’ve retained legal representation.
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