Kansas ‘seer’ accused of drowning young mother whose death he foretold
A self-styled “seer” will be tried beginning this week in the 2003 drowning of a young mother whose death he predicted.
Daniel Perez lived on a 20-acre compound in central Kansas with a traveling entourage called “the family” who lived off the life insurance benefits paid from the deaths of about a dozen other members, reported The Wichita Eagle.
The unemployed Perez was never named a beneficiary, investigators said, but he controlled millions of dollars received in insurance payouts.
Patricia Hughes died June 26, 2003, and police initially believed she slipped and struck her head on swimming pool steps while trying to rescue her 2-year-old daughter from the water.
But a woman came forward in 2011 to report that she helped Perez, now 55 years old, stage the drowning when she was 12 years old.
She said Perez, who she also accused of sexual abuse, had foretold Hughes’ death about a week before it happened, and the young woman had kissed her daughter goodbye shortly before drowning and assured the child she would return after “crossing over.”
The woman testified that Perez told her to wait in a building near the pool with Hughes’ daughter, and she said his forearms were wet and he appeared to be out of breath when he came to get her and directed her to jump into the water with the girl.
After Perez was arrested, other commune members testified that he told them he was hundreds of years old, could see the future, and needed sex from someone pure – such as a young girl – to survive.
In addition to murder, Perez has been charged with multiple sex acts with minors, rape, sodomy, aggravated assault, criminal threat, and life insurance and car loan application fraud.
Authorities have been suspicious about the deaths of other members of the communal “family” that Perez directed.
Hughes’ husband was crushed to death by a car in South Dakota as he attempted a repair, their child’s guardian was struck and killed in a vehicle crash, and another member was killed with her 12-year-old daughter and boyfriend in a South Dakota plane crash.