|Actress playing a possessed girl illustration|
An innocent little girl was tragically killed by her own family.
A Malaysian girl, 3-years-old, was killed in a ritual of exorcism by her own family members, who believed she was possessed by evil spirits, police said Tuesday.
Police raided a house in northern Penang state on Sunday night, after receiving a distress call from a member of the family, and found a group of eight people lying on top of the girl in a bedroom, police chief Azman Abdul Lah said.
She was face down under the human pile, which included her parents, grandmother, uncle, aunt, two cousins and her maid of Indonesia, he said.
The room was dark and chanting was heard coming from under a blanket covering the group, said Azman.
The child died of asphyxiation, and the eight family members involved in her death have been arrested, he said.
Belief in the supernatural has been deeply rooted among the leading sects of Malaysia, the ethnic communities of China and India, although cult rituals have declined in recent decades.
Deaths related to such rituals are sometimes recorded. Two Malaysian cousins were sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2010 for killing the parents of one of them during a spiritual cleansing ritual involving the two beating the parents with brooms and motorcycle helmets.