Breakthrough in cold case murder of two-year-old girl as ‘cult follower’ is brought back to Australia from New Zealand under police escort
- A 60-year-old woman has been extradited from New Zealand on murder charges
- Ellen Craig is accused of murdering her two-year-old daughter in 1987
- When Tillie disappeared, biological father thought she was going to NZ. was brought
- Mother lived in a cult of the Ministry of God run by guru Alfio Nicolosi
- Nicolosi alias Alexander Wilon charged with complicity in murder
- Wilon also charged with misconduct regarding a corpse
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An alleged cult follower who left Australia 35 years ago when her two-year-old daughter disappeared has been charged with murder and extradited from New Zealand to Sydney.
Ellen Craig, 60, arrived under police guard Thursday morning after being arrested in Palmerston North, north of Wellington, for the death of her daughter Tillie in 1987.
Police will allege that Ms Craig was a follower of the Ministry of God cult, which at the time was led by Alfio Nicolosi, aka Alexander Wilon. Nicolosi/Wilon was subsequently charged with complicity in murder and misconduct in relation to a corpse.
At the time, Nicolosi/Wilon claimed to have divine powers and said that his followers should obey the word of God or be punished.
Wilon, who his followers knew as “Papa,” preached the word of God and claimed to transmit divine messages from an oracle known as “Monet.”
Ellen Craig (above with baby Tillie) left Australia in 1987 but has now been extradited to Sydney and charged with the alleged murder of her two-year-old son in 1987
Tillie Craig took up residence in the Ministry of God cult near Oberon NSW with her mother, a cult follower of the leader known as ‘Papa’ who claimed to possess divine powers
Alfio Nicolosi (center) aka Alexander Wilon led the cult of the Ministry of God in which he relayed divine messages from an oracle known as “Monet” and instructed his followers to obey the word of God or be punished
Last year, NSW police searched Wilon’s property at Porters Retreat, about 26 miles south of Oberon, in the Central Tablelands of NSW, but found no remains of toddler Tillie Craig.
Homicide detectives arrested Wilon last November and asked for Craig to be extradited to Australia.
The arrests come after Strike Force Betrand was launched in October 2019 after police received information related to Tillie’s alleged murder at Porters Retreat in 1987.
A 70-year-old man has been arrested at a Porters Retreat property (pictured) for the alleged murder of a little girl in 1987
NSW Police Force executed a search warrant on NSW Central Tablelands property (pictured) on Tuesday as part of Strike Force Bertrand
Detectives were told that the toddler was reportedly fatally assaulted by Craig around July of that year and that Wilon/Nicolosi helped the woman clear up the child’s remains.
Around the time Craig left Australia to go to New Zealand, Tillie’s biological father Gerard Stanhope was desperate for his daughter and thought she had been taken out of the country.
Cold case detectives executed a search warrant at the Porters Retreat property, with police divers scouring the creeks while officers seized a number of items, including a gun.
Homicide Commander, Chief Inspector Danny Doherty, praised the efforts of the investigators for their tenacity in their investigation over the past two years.
“Strik Force Bertrand detectives have conducted an extensive, thorough and lengthy investigation into this alleged murder that took place more than three decades ago,” Det Supt Doherty said.
Police officers are investigating a number of items found on the property, including a gun
“These allegations were not brought to the attention of the NSW Police Force until October 2019 and thanks to the tenacity and dedication of our officers, two individuals have now been charged.
“The level of violence reportedly used against this child is appalling and has left a father without his daughter or knowledge of her death for 34 years.
“NSW Police will always thoroughly investigate new information relating to historical alleged crimes and have worked tirelessly to ensure that this little girl finally gets justice,” said Det Supt Doherty.
Source: New feed