Woman arrested in ritual killing of animals

Police: Woman said she killed them for ritual at her mother’s grave

Anson County Sheriff’s deputies have arrested a woman they say admitted slaying a sheep, goat and chickens and spreading their blood on her mother’s grave as part of a religious ceremony.

Annette Horne Griffin, 60, was arrested late Monday after she purchased more animals, Anson Sheriff Tommy Allen said. Griffin, who lives in Winston-Salem, is charged with defacing a grave and five counts each of felony cruelty to animals and conveying animals in a cruel manner.

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Griffin told investigators she is a Yoruba priestess and was sacrificing the animals as a way of calling up her mother’s spirit in a healing ritual, Allen said.

The Observer could not reach her Tuesday.

Allen said the charges stem from a Sept. 16 discovery at the Garris Grove Church cemetery about six miles north of Wadesboro. A groundskeeper found the dead animals, their feet tied with orange twine.

“It just really upset the church,” Allen told the Observer on Tuesday. “They thought some kind of devil worship was going on.”

The sheriff said investigators found a tag on the dead sheep’s ear and traced the animal to a flea market in Rockingham. Earlier this week, he said, Griffin ordered a goat, two doves and two chickens from the flea market vendor. She arranged to pick them up Monday night.

Griffin was arrested late Monday after she purchased the animals.

The sheriff said Griffin told investigators she had been a Yoruba priestess since 1998 and performed the healing ritual by herself at her mother’s grave. She was released from the Anson County jail on a $5,000 bond a short time after her arrest.

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