Police in Georgia have arrested a man and his young adult daughter after they allegedly starved to death his 15-month-old infant child and left three other children and a young adult woman emaciated in a hotel room, authorities said on Friday.
The 44-year-old man and his 23-year-old daughter were both arrested and charged with first-degree murder, malice murder and 6 counts of cruelty to children and a disabled adult, the Gwinnett County Police said in a statement.
The father was also charged with rape, incest and aggravated sodomy of the young adult daughter, police said. Both suspects are being held without bail at a local jail.
Police said the man brought the infant girl to a local hospital on Tuesday, where she was pronounced dead on arrival and appeared to have died of neglect and abuse.
When officers searched the Extended Stay hotel room in the city of Peachtree Corners outside Atlanta, they found three other children who were "severely malnourished" and a 21-year-old woman who was wrapped in blankets on the floor and weighed only 59 pounds, police said.
The woman was taken to a hospital in serious condition and the children were taken into custody of the state's child services agency, police said.
Officials later discovered that two of the surviving children were mothered by the man's young adult daughter, while the other surviving child and the starved infant were birthed by the emaciated victim. All of the children were five years old or younger, police said.
Police found literature relating to the Nuwaubian Nation of Moors While executing a search warrant. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the belief system as a black separatist cult founded by Dwight York in the 1970s and based in Georgia.
In 2004, York was sentenced to 135 years in prison for swindling his followers and sexually abusing their children, the Law Center said.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Paul Tait)