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Archive for Monday, September 20, 2010

Leader of California religious sect hospitalized after frantic search for members

September 20, 2010

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— The leader of a breakaway religious sect was hospitalized Sunday for a mental evaluation, after she and 12 other members of her group went missing and left behind evidence that they were awaiting the rapture or some catastrophic event.

Reyna Marisol Chicas was placed under a 72-hour mandatory hold after it was determined she was not able to care for herself or others, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Kim.

Chicas gave investigators a false name and was rambling during questioning, Kim said. She told deputies she had no children, even though her two kids were with her.

Ending a frantic search, deputies found Chicas the 13 just before noon at Jackie Robinson Park near Palmdale after getting a tip from a local resident, said sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore. He said all members are safe.

Officers had been searching a wide swath of Southern California since Saturday after family members found letters saying the group was awaiting an apocalyptic event and would soon see Jesus and their dead relatives in heaven.

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