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A judge charged five member of a Missouri family yesterday in a bizarre sex abuse case involving a string of child abuse allegations.
The men, Burrell Edward Mohler Sr., 77, and his four sons were charged with forcible sodomy, rape of a child younger than 12 and use of a child in a sexual performance.
Five members of the family were arrested earlier in the week after six alleged victims, who are relatives of the five initial suspects, came forward, CNN reports.
Burrell Edward Mohler Sr., and his sons Burrell Edward Mohler Jr., 53; David A. Mohler, 52; Jared Leroy Mohler, 48; and Roland Neil Mohler, 47 are being held in the Lafayette County Jail with bails ranging from $30,000 to $75,000.
Police said there are indications that one or more bodies may be hidden on the family's property, though they would not provide further details. Investigators are continuing to search for dead bodies. They also are looking for buried glass jars, which the alleged victims say contain notes documenting their sex abuse years ago.
Three of the five men are lay ministers in the Community of Christ church whose licenses have been suspended, said a church spokeswoman.
Late Thursday, a sixth suspect Larry Kidd, 55, of Kansas City, Missouri who authorities say is an "associate" of the Mohler family was arrested.
According to the Associated Press, Kidd is suspected in the rape of a child less than 14 years old, the highway patrol said in a statement.
In mid-August a 26-year-old woman came forward to investigators with the allegations. However, a probable cause statement released by the Lafayette County prosecutor's office says the woman's five other siblings have accused all five men of abuse, but it's unclear whether all the siblings were claiming to be victims.
The alleged crimes by the Mohler family include bestiality, forcing children into fake marriages with relatives and making an 11-year-old have an abortion, date from 1988 to 1995.
So far, about that about 50 law enforcement officials are involved in the case, and several leads have come in since the arrests.