Brazil: religious fanatic dies from fasting

RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) — A religious fanatic in Brazil forced her family to abstain from eating in order to “go to heaven” and ended up dying from hunger after fasting for more than a month, the local media reported Wednesday.

Claudia de Souza Santos Simeao, living in Belford Roxo of Rio de Janeiro, locked her mother, sister and two nieces inside the house to go on fasting.

Simeao told her family that they had to fast to death if they wanted to “go to heaven and see God.”

After Simeao died from hunger, her sister and two nieces managed to run out of the house, and were found lying on the street, starving for help.

Police broke into the two-storey house and found Simeao dead lying next to her mother, who was also in critical conditions.

Police said Simeao had been dead for at least four days, and her body had begun to decompose.

The two little girls had symptoms of severe dehydration and mental confusion and were taken to hospital, along with the other two family members.

The police chief in charge of the case said that he has never seen any similar case in the region, and that he’s waiting for the forensic report to continue the investigations.

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Xinhua, China
Nov. 15, 2007

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This post was last updated: Nov. 15, 2007