Police have uncovered details surrounding the 2003 disappearance of a 13-year-old Indonesian girl whose parents allegedly delivered to an 83-year-old shaman for spiritual cleansing.
Image shows Jago in police custody
Jago (a spiritualist) held his victim in a cave-like space located in Central Sulawesi until police swung into action on Sunday.
The 28-year-old captive, simply known as HS, had spent 15 years with Jago before police rescued her. BBC reports that her enslavement started with an unresolved case of witchcraft, spiritual cleansing, and family feud.
Family members allegedly abandoned HS in Jago’s care for an unspecified treatment.
However, the Jakarta Post confirmed family of the missing girl told police that she left her village seeking greener pastures and was never seen.
Following a tip-off and confessions from Jago, police traced HS to “a hole” in Galumpang, a village Sulawesi. They found her in a cave between large rocks outfitted with a few items of furniture. Family members had lost hope that she would be found.
‘She was found in a gap between rocks,’ a local police spokesperson told Jakarta Post.
‘The suspect is believed to have put a hex on her…She was afraid to escape because of an evil spirit.’
BBC reports that the spiritualist convinced his victim that she was possessed by the devil but promised her safety within the cave where he said was protected by a stronger spirit.
Both news outlets acknowledged that Jago “brainwashed” HS to keep her as a sex slave.
The suspect is facing rape charges and a possible 15-year sentence. Further charges may follow if investigations prove him guilty of the crime.
Police reportedly learned of HS’ whereabouts from a neighbour to Jago’s son who is married to the victim’s sister. In a truly bizarre twist, the survivor’s sister is alleged to have played a part in the slavery.
‘The tipster overheard an argument between Jago’s son and his wife,’ M. Igbal Alqudusy (Tolitoli Police Chief) said during a press briefing.
‘The couple were arguing about HS without knowing that someone was listening.’
Igbal said investigations are underway, stressing that police believe Jago “kidnapped” his victim for sex. The suspect claims he kept his slave “as a sacrifice to conjure a spirit.”
HS told police she missed her menstrual circle severally but had it “restored” by Jago, who gave her some foetus-aborting potion.
A villager who identified herself as Sugeng told police that Jago deceived HS with promises of marriage.
According to Iqbal, Jago is popular around the community for his traditional healing methods. His clients include residents and visitors who have marital, relationship or business problems.