A married couple charged with murdering their eight-year-old daughter allegedly held a bizarre ‘prayer ritual’, rather than call paramedics, after she fell ill.
Jason Richard Struhs, 50, and Kerrie Elizabeth Struhs, 46, were charged with murder, torture and failing to provide the necessities of life on Tuesday after their daughter Elizabeth was found dead inside their Toowoomba property.
Police will allege in court that Elizabeth became extremely ill and died last Friday.
It will be alleged that the parents called a group of religious friends to come over to pray to God to save their child, the Toowoomba Chronicle reported.
Jason Richard Struhs, 50, (pictured) and Kerrie Elizabeth Struhs, 46, have been charged over the alleged murder of their daughter
A police officer pictured outside the Toowoomba property where Elizabeth Struhs, 8, was allegedly found dead last Saturday
The pair appeared in Toowoomba Magistrates Court looking ’emotionless’ on Wednesday, with Mr Struhs refusing an offer of legal counsel to represent him.
Officers were called to the couple’s home in Rangeville, about 5.30pm on Saturday, with a neighbour witnessing a paramedic running from the home ‘in tears’ after finding the girl’s body.
The neighbour said he had seen a large crowd gathered outside the home earlier that day Saturday and that he had heard loud voices and music.
The couple appeared in court via video link from the Toowoomba watch house yesterday, where they have been in custody since their arrest.
Urged by Magistrate Kay Philipson to seek Legal Aid for the ‘very serious matters’, Mr Struhs twice declined to do so, and refusing to apply for bail.
Jason and Kerrie Struhs have previously lived in the Queensland town of Gatton, where Mrs Struhs ran a business and was a market stallholder.
The case will return to court at a later date.
The two adults were charged on Tuesday with murder, torture and failing to provide the necessities of life (file image)