Animals found beheaded after 'ritual cleansing' in DeBary

Ritual was meant to cleanse man of schizophrenic thoughts

(Getty Images)

DeBARY, Fla. – Deputies found the corpses of chickens, pigeons, a goat and a turtle that were beheaded during a ritual cleansing meant to cure a man of his schizophrenic thoughts, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office. 

A woman called 911 Wednesday afternoon to report that she found a recycling bin full of dead animals while she was riding her bike on Toms Road.

"I didn't get real close to it, but I know there was a goat, and a chicken, and they were all missing their heads, which I thought was kind of strange," the caller said.

[WARNING graphic photos: Animals beheaded in DeBary]

Deputies said there were five chickens, two pigeons, one goat and one turtle beheaded in the bin. The turtle was not a protected species, according to the report.

A probation officer called 911 later that same day to report that she was doing a routine check on one of her supervised offenders and he was acting suicidal. She told deputies that the night before, May 16, she did a check on the man and found him with blood on his head.

The man took his probation officer to an area where his family members had been performing a ritual cleansing, which was meant to rid him of his schizophrenic thoughts, according to the incident report.

The family members were sitting around numerous headless animals that had been used in the ritual, deputies said.

Deputies on Wednesday determined that the man should be treated under the Baker Act because he was exhibiting suicidal tendencies.

No criminal charges have been filed in the case. The animals were removed from the scene.