Missing Sect Members Found, Leader Hospitalized

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A man who was found at the home early Sunday and identified himself as her brother-in-law said he expected the group to return.

"We see the news tonight and never think, you know, something like this happen. But they're going to come back for sure," said the man, who identified himself only with his last name of Orellana.

Materials left behind by the group have led police to believe they will be in the Antelope Valley area.

Six months ago the group planned to go to Vasquez Rocks, near Palmdale, to await a catastrophic event, but the trip was called off after a member of the group told a relative of the plans. The member was then ostracized from the group.

The group split off from Palmdale's Iglesia de Cristo Miel. The church was a regular congregation and Chicas was not in any sort of leadership role, Chicas' former neighbor Jisela Giron said.

"Everywhere she was going, she was taking her kids with her," Giron told The Los Angeles Times.

"You felt like you could trust her," Jisela's husband Ricardo Giron told the newspaper, adding that she became increasingly religious after separating from her husband four years ago.

According to an emergency bulletin posted by the governor's office, in addition to Chica, the missing included: Norma Isela Serrano, 31; Alma Alicia Miranda Pleitez, 28; Martha Clavel, 39; Jose Clavel, 15; Crystal Clavel, 3; Roberto Tejada, 18; Jonathan Tejada, 17; Hugo Tejada, 3; Ezequel Chicas, 15; Genisis Chicas, 12; Bryan Rivera, 17; and Stephanie Serrano, 12.

Authorities were searching for three vehicles: a silver Toyota Tundra pickup, a 1995 Mercury Villager with a California license plate SNFX290 and a 2004 white Nissan Quest with a California license plate 6LJF396.

How Cults Operate

In an interview with "Good Morning America" this morning former FBI agent and ABC News consultant Brad Garrett said that the situation was quite urgent.

"You're talking about people that have left notes and have apparently talked about moving on to another life. And if you compare that to Jim Jones and Heaven's Gate, its people that are very determined that life after this life is going to be much better," he said.

"What they do is convince people that life here is not any good anymore, that we've become inhumane or whatever the trick may be to convince people that life is not what it should be," Garrett said. "So as a result we're going to move on, were gonna be together in the afterlife, as this world, the material world disintegrates."

People susceptible to these cult-like groups tend to feel lost in life and groups like this empower them, Garrett said. Combining this sense of brotherhood with isolation and a charismatic leader can lead to unfortunate circumstances, like the situation that may be unfolding now, he said.

"I would guess that they have gone to a place they have been before," Garrett said. "Apparently according to previous reporting, they had talked about this and picked a location previously. So I would be surprised if law enforcement is not honing down right now where these people may be."

ABC News' Mike von Fremd, ABC Radio's Alex Stone and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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