DENVER (AP) — Prosecutors have charged seven people after the mummified body of the leader of a spiritual group called Love Has Won was found decorated with Christmas lights and glitter in what appeared to be a shrine in a southern Colorado home.
Amy Carlson, 45, who was known as “Mother God” by her followers, was found dead in a home in the tiny, rural town of Moffat on April 28, according to arrest affidavits. Each of the defendants is facing charges related to tampering with or abusing a corpse as well as child abuse.
They appeared in court virtually Wednesday to be advised of the charges, which were filed May 6. A coroner’s office has not said how or when Carlson died.
One of Carlson's followers, who has not been charged, told investigators that he took in the group because they needed a place to stay, and he found the body in a back bedroom when he returned home from a trip to Denver. He called police and said he believed the group had brought Carlson’s body to his home from California.
“The mummified remains appeared to be set up in some type of shrine” and “have what appears to be glitter type makeup on around the eyes,” according to the affidavits. Investigators searched an SUV on the property and said the backseat was laid down in a position “consistent with someone transporting the mummified remains.”
Two children — a 13-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy — were in the home at the time, which presumably led to the child abuse charges. The follower who reported the body also told investigators that he was prevented from leaving the home with his son, prompting a false imprisonment charge against one of the defendants.
According to the affidavits, the sheriff’s office has received “many complaints” from families across the country saying Love Has Won is brainwashing people and stealing their money.
Carlson’s followers believe she communicated with angels and that she was leading them to a great awakening, The Denver Post has reported. The group, which established itself in southern Colorado in 2018, offers “spiritual intuitive ascension sessions” and sells spiritual healing products online.