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DENVER – The mummified body of a New Age cult leader discovered by law enforcement last week near Crestone, Colorado, had been placed in a sanctuary and appeared to be missing eyes, arrest affidavits reveal.
When investigators arrived Wednesday, the remains had “… what appears to be glitter-type makeup around the eyes,” according to Corporal Steve Hanson of the Saguache County Sheriff’s Office.
The documents, obtained by The Daily Beast, also describe the body – believed to be that of 45-year-old Amy Carlson, known to her followers as “Mother God” – as being adorned with Christmas tree lights. The group in question, “Love Has Won” (LHW) has already been described by followers and law enforcement as a “cult”.
Sheriff’s deputies found the body at LHW headquarters in rural Saguache County just before midnight on Wednesday. Saguache County Sheriff Dan Warwick said in an interview Monday that the body was “groomed” and the eyes were gone due to the decomposition.
Carlson’s son Cole told the Daily Beast he had expected his mother to be dead for some time.
Cult leader’s decomposed corpse found at Colorado headquarters
“It’s not a good thing, but I hope it ends the Love Has Won debacle,” he said in an interview on Monday. “I hope the damage will stop now.”
“My problem is that the cult didn’t help her,” added Carlson’s sister Chelsea Renninger, “they let her die.”
The Saguache County Sheriff’s Office was responding to advice from a man named Miguel Lamboy, a suspected member of the group, during his visit to headquarters on Wednesday. According to an affidavit, Lamboy told them, “… it was obvious that Mrs. Carlson was dead because her eyes were gone. Mr Lamboy said the body appeared to be mummified with Ms Carlson’s teeth exposed through the lips.
Lamboy also said he believed the mummified remains were brought to Colorado from California.
Saguache County Coroner Tom Perrin told the Daily Beast on Monday that he had not been able to officially identify the corpse via fingerprints because it was so poorly decomposed. But he added that he was working to use dental records to obtain identification, and estimated the person had been dead for some time in March.
Perrin said in an email that he had not ruled out foul play, but “that he won’t know for sure until the autopsy is complete.”
Perrin described the scene where Carlson’s body was found as “heavily decorated with murals on the walls and Christmas lights all around,” adding that he suspected Carlson was ingesting colloidal silver.
Sure enough, Cole said he last spoke to his mother via Skype, and at the time she told him she had cancer and ate a grilled cheese a day, but that he suspected something worse.
“I know she was taking huge amounts of colloidal silver,” Cole told The Daily Beast. He added that his mother told him they were selling the money as a cure for the coronavirus under a business known as Gaia’s Whole Healing Essentials, LLC, but the FDA had them shut down.
During their visit to the headquarters of Love Has Won, a mobile home, on Wednesday night, deputies from the Saguache County Sheriff’s Office also found two children, aged 13 and 2, asleep. The Saguache County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the 13-year-old had been placed with social services. According to the arrest file, the two-year-old belongs to Lamboy, who could not be reached immediately for comment.
Seven members of the “sect” were taken into custody on various charges, including child abuse and mistreatment of a dead body. No one has been charged for Carlson’s death.
When Lamboy alerted law enforcement to Carlson’s body, he told them her name was “Lia”. But former LHW member Andrew Profaci told the Daily Beast that Carlson had at least half a dozen different names; he also suggested that she may have had some sort of relationship with Lamboy.
“She used this name very early on before I joined the team, but she still used it when she and Miguel were together,” Profaci said.
“She never used the name ‘Amy’. If you called her Amy, you said her. You said she is not Mother God. Amy Carlson as far as she was concerned was no one.
Love Has Won did not publicly announce Carlson’s death and instead used its own language to describe his passing. LHW member Bobby Barbara took to Facebook on Sunday proclaiming, “She’s not dead. She went up. His essence left his body.
She went on to describe a horrific death “… like Lou Gehrig’s Parkinson’s, where his whole body was paralyzed but his brain was functioning fully.”
After being contacted on Facebook, Barbara declined to comment, saying, “Does it matter? Either way, you’re not going to be telling the truth. A person at a phone number previously listed on a now defunct Love Has Won website suggested the group had been “disbanded” and declined to comment for this story.
Carlson’s family say they don’t believe much of what LHW claims about his death. “Finding out that she had been dead for that long without knowing she was dead is worrying,” Renninger said.
The last time they heard from Carlson was in January when another sister, Tara Flores, spoke to her on the phone, she told the Daily Beast.
“She said she was in a lot of pain and was at peace,” Flores said. After that, the family texted Carlson, but they said they could never be sure the person on the other end was her.
The Love Has Won website went offline over the weekend, but their Facebook page remains active. The group has a “Daily Energy Update” in which the members discuss what they call “divine decrees” and now share old videos of Carlson.
On Wednesday afternoon, suspected jailed cult members will have their first day in Saguache County Court. Ryan Kramer, John Robertson, Jason Castillo, Obdulia Franco Gonzalez, Christopher Royer and Sarah Raymone were each held on two counts of child abuse and one count of tampering with a deceased human body.
A seventh accused, Karin Raymond, was detained on two counts of child abuse, one count of falsifying a deceased human body and one count of false imprisonment. At one point, Lamboy told investigators after discovering the body he was not allowed to leave LHW headquarters with his son.
Sheriff Warwick said the seven defendants had public defenders from Colorado’s 12th Judicial District. The lawyers could not be reached immediately for comment.
For his part, Warwick said he had never had a problem with the group before. “They have always been very polite,” he said. “There were no criminal problems.”
Family members who say they have lost loved ones to LHW watch with interest, hoping law enforcement has intervened in a tragedy they could not control.
“I’m sad. For the most part, she was still my mom,” Carlson’s son Cole said.
Still, he added, “It’s super weird to tell people, ‘My mom thinks she’s a God.'”
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