In a perplexing turn of events, six individuals, including two children, have mysteriously vanished from their residences in a St. Louis suburb, casting a shadow of concern over their families and local authorities.
The missing persons are reportedly adherents of an online cult led by Rashad Jamal, a former rapper turned self-styled new age prophet currently incarcerated in Georgia for child molestation, adding an eerie layer to the unfolding narrative of their disappearance.
According to moguldom.com, in an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jamal denied any knowledge of the missing individuals, stating that he had never met them. He claimed that the police had unfairly targeted him after learning of the disappearances from news reports.
Here are three things to Know.
1, Strange behavior
The mysterious disappearance unfolded last summer when the group vanished from a rented house in Berkeley, exhibiting unusual behaviors that alarmed neighbors.
According to reports, the missing individuals were often seen worshipping the sun, running around naked in the rain, and engaging in peculiar activities like burying coins in the yard.
Berkeley Police Major Steve Runge of the Berkeley Police Department described the peculiar behavior. He told NBC affiliate KSDK of St. Louis, “Neighbors reported seeing these people outside daily, worshipping the sun. When it was raining, they would come outside naked and run around the yard. They were digging up things in the yard.”
Runge added, “They’ve shut off their phones, shut off their social media, shut off everything. We’ve even sent them money via a cash app and they haven’t collected it. They’re just gone.”
2, Who Went Missing
The missing individuals have been identified as Ma’Kayla Wickerson, 25, and her three-year-old daughter Malaiyah; Gerielle German, 26, and her three-year-old son Ashton Mitchell; Naaman Williams, 29; and Mikayla Thompson, 23, who is Wickerson’s cousin. They lived together in Wickerson’s home near the St. Louis airport before abandoning the property after reportedly receiving eviction papers.
Wickerson’s mother, Cartisha Morgan, expressed her concern, saying, “She doesn’t usually do things like this. She’s usually very family-oriented. So for her to cut off everybody, quit her job, leave all her belongings behind is not the norm.”
3, About Jamal and the Cult
The missing individuals are believed to have ties to Rashad Jamal’s online cult, known as the University of Cosmic Intelligence. Jamal, who operates the cult from prison, was convicted last year on charges of child molestation and child cruelty. Despite his imprisonment, Jamal maintains a significant social media following, with more than 300,000 followers, some of whom consider themselves “sovereign beings” beyond the reach of the law, The Guardian reported.