Pages ripped from Bible were scattered on body
Atlanta police are downplaying the possibility that the murder of a young girl occurred during an exorcism, but they were still struggling Tuesday to untangle the details of her death.
Although family members told police that the parents were trying to rid the child of demons, police are questioning that scenario.
“This is just a horrific, bizarre homicide by people wandering their own path,” said police spokesman Sgt. John Quigley.
Police discovered the child’s body on a motel floor after finding the couple and their two other children, aged 2 and 7, walking nude along Piedmont Avenue shortly after midnight Monday.
Police checked the family’s residence at the Savannah Suites motel in downtown Atlanta, where they found the partially covered body of the girl.
Pages ripped from a Bible were placed on the girl’s body, Quigley said, but detectives found no evidence of any formal religious ritual.
“It wasn’t, as far as they’re concerned, exorcism,” he said.
But he said police had not ruled out the parents’ involvement in some sort of quasi-religious act designed, in their minds, to banish demons. Police say the other two children may have been involved in some sort of defiling of the girl’s dead body, Quigley said.
Christopher Carey, 29, and Valerie Carey, 27, are both charged with murder. Both were treated Monday in the psychiatric ward at Grady Memorial Hospital, and Valerie Carey remained there Tuesday. Christopher Carey was in the Fulton County Jail. He waived his right to a first court appearance Tuesday and is expected to have a court date in two weeks.
The children were placed with the state Division of Family and Children Services.
DFCS has identified the girl as Quimani Carey but police have declined to officially confirm her identity. Her parentage was called into question by statements Christopher Carey made to police.
DNA tests will be conducted to determine whether both the Careys are the child’s biological parents, Quigley said. One reason is to find out if there is another next of kin who needs to be notified.
The Fulton County medical examiner’s office declared the death a homicide Tuesday. An autopsy found it resulted from inflicted injuries including asphyxia, stab wounds and blunt force injures, the medical examiner said.
More about the family was learned Tuesday.
The girl’s parents complained to school officials last June that Quimani was molested by an employee at the private Catholic school she attended in Sandy Springs.
The case was closed by police “due to lack of strong evidence,” said Fulton County police public information officer Kurtis Young. “It basically went nowhere on our end,” he said.
In the police report, Christopher Carey said his daughter and another student took their clothes off at school when told to do so by a school employee. During the investigation, however, the classmate told detectives “it never happened,” Young said. And the Careys could not be found when a detective tried to contact the family for interviews, he said.
The family has a history of relocating. Within the past five years, the Careys moved from Pennsylvania to North Carolina to Georgia, and lived at various addresses in at least six towns along the way, a database search showed.
DFCS spokeswoman Renee Huie said the parents’ account of the alleged incident at school seemed too strange to be real.
“The parents made bizarre accusations, not typical of what we see in pedophiles. They didn’t make sense,” she said.
Atlanta police said Tuesday they were investigating whether that incident had any connection to the girl’s death.