They wore all white, refused medical care, referred to themselves with titles such as “Princess” and “Queen,” talked to the walls and attempted to banish demons.
From the moment that Ria Ramkissoon and her baby boy Javon joined the tiny religious cult, 1 Mind Ministries, in April 2006, her life would change irrevocably.
Now, the 21-year-old woman is sitting in the psychiatric unit of a city jail in Baltimore accused by police of slowly starving her son to death and allowing cult members to beat him for disobeying orders such as saying “amen” at meals.
After he stopped breathing in his mother's arms, they stuffed Javon's body into a green suitcase, which cult leader “Queen Antoinette” occasionally sprayed with Lysol to cover up the stench, drove to Philadelphia and left the suitcase inside a shed where it sat for a year until police made the gruesome discovery in April, according to a statement of charges.
In total, five members of the cult, including Ramkissoon, have been charged with murder. Three members — Queen Antoinette, Trevia Williams and Marcus Cobbs — are already in jail and federal marshals in the New York area are searching for a fourth member, Steven Bynum.
A bail hearing for Ramkissoon, who is charged with first- and second-degree murder, child abuse, assault, reckless endangerment and conspiracy, is set for today.
Ramkissoon, who was also known as Princess Marie, called her mother Sunday, the first time they have talked in several years.
“She sounded like an empty shell,” Seeta Khadan-Newton told ABCNews.com. “She sounded like she was going to die. She said she didn't know how this happened, that it wasn't supposed to happen that way… She's not doing well. She had a confrontation with somebody, and she's in the psychiatric ward right now.”
Khadan-Newton still remembers that fateful day in 2006 when she dropped off her daughter and grandson at a house in West Baltimore, assuming that a babysitter lived there to take care of the boy while Ramkissoon went to school.[mashshare]