KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Jackson County Prosecutor has weighed in on the investigation into Bethany Deaton’s death and the "religious community" at the center of it all.
Prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker reiterated Tuesday that the investigation is still active, and detectives are gathering information and statements from people tied to the killing.
Micah Moore, who confessed to Deaton's murder Friday, entered a Jackson County courthouse for the first time Monday morning. He is the only person currently charged in her death, facing one county of first-degree murder. He is being held on $250,000 cash bond.
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Deaton was found dead in a van near Longview Lake on Oct. 30. Her death was set up to look like a suicide.
According to her parents, Deaton was a nurse and a newlywed.
Court documents reveal a grimmer picture.
RELATED | Parents of slain nurse pray for answers: http://tinyurl.com/bj9pt88
According to the probable cause statement, Deaton's husband led a "religious group" that gathered in Grandview, Mo., where she and others were victims of sexual assault.
"There was a series of affairs going on between the decedent and other roommates in the home, and also homosexual affairs going on with the spiritual leader of this group, Mr. Deaton," explained Peters-Baker.
The prosecutor and detectives are staying tight lipped about any additional persons of interest. However, Moore's confession includes an admission that Tyler Deaton, Bethany’s husband, told him to kill her.
READ | Probable cause statement: http://tinyurl.com/ajuq9uh
"In this particular case, I know there is a lot of interest in other parties in this case. I have to encourage you that this is still under investigation. I cannot stress that enough that this is still under investigation. We are encouraging people who may have information to please come forward," Peters-Baker said.
Moore, Bethany and Tyler Deaton all have ties to the International House of Prayer, which is based in Kansas City.
IHOP released a statement Monday separating itself from the alleged deviant behavior. IHOP University President Allen Hood said, “Since Bethany's death it has come to light that over five years ago, both she and Mr. Moore joined an independent, close-knit, religious group in Georgetown, Texas."
The prosecutor would not comment on the fact that this case could have slipped by as a suicide. But she said it is not an uncommon occurrence for crimes to be classified first as a suicide and then be changed to a homicide. On Tuesday, Peters-Baker stated her office now knows how Bethany Deaton died. They will continue investigation and prosecute accordingly.
If you know anything about what happened to Deaton, call the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.
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