Lexington, Missouri: A Missouri man and his four sons were charged with the ritualistic sex abuse of his six grandchildren and police were searching the family farm for bodies that may be buried there.
Officials declined to say whether the remains they were searching for were of adults or children but said they were investigating allegations of murder.
"There have been indications of a body or bodies in numerous locations," Lafayette County Sheriff Kerrick Alumbaugh told a press conference.
Officers began digging before noon, and a more careful search was undertaken to find glass jars filled with notes the children wrote describing the horrific abuse.
"When the victims were younger they were writing down what had happened to them and placing it in those jars and subsequently burying it in the property in hopes to forget about the occurrences," said Bill Lowe, a spokesman for the Missouri Highway Patrol.
The alleged crimes came to light in August when a 26-year-old woman approached police with the suppressed memories of years of abuse at the hand of her father, uncles and grandfather.
Her four sisters and brother are cooperating with police and more charges are expected to be filed, Lowe said.
"We believe there are other victims out there," Alumbaugh said. "Pedophiles don`t stop with just one. They keep going."
The woman described nine incidents of abuse which she believes began when she was about five and ended after she became pregnant and was forced to have an abortion at age 11.
The abuse included elaborate "wedding" ceremonies in which the girls would pick flowers to adorn their hair and wear special dresses.
After one such ceremony, she was "wed" to an uncle and led to a chicken coop.
"She remembers her grandfather putting a blanket over the glass door and saying `you all have fun,`" the charging documents said.
In another incident the woman recalled being forced to watch as her brother was sexually abused and the charging documents also described an incident of sexual abuse involving a dog. Lowe declined to say whether other family members were aware of the abuse or present when it occurred.
"I do not know what their role was as far as knowing anything," he told AFP. "That`s part of the investigation that`s still ongoing."
The grandmother died in December 1991, the Kansas City Star reported citing her obituary. The alleged abuse occurred between 1988 and 1995 at the farm in Bates City, Missouri. The five men were formally charged with various counts of child sex abuse on Tuesday and remained in jail Wednesday after a judge set bonds ranging from 30,000 to 75,000 dollars.
Charged in the crime were: Burrell Edward Mohler Sr, 77; Burrell Edward Mohler, Jr, 51, the father of the six children; Jared Leroy Mohler, 48; Roland Neil Mohler, 47; and David A Mohler, 52.