Leader of 'Cult-Like' School Arrested in Cold Case Death of Toddler

A 76-year-old woman was arrested near Atlanta on Friday for the murder of a child that took place over thirty years ago.

annayoung
(Photo: Twitter / @insideedition)

Anna Elizabeth Young was arrested on Friday following the murder of a toddler she knew while running a boarding school in Gainesville, Florida, that has been described as "cult-like" by former students. Police believe that Young has much more to answer for than this one case.

The House of Prayer for All People was open from 1985 to 1995. Young charged with felony child abuse back in 1992, but she fled the state at the time.

She was later convicted for child abuse in 2001, when an adult former student described how she had bathed them in chemicals as a punishment. She served six months in jail and was then released.

Now, she's being accused of torturing Emon Harper and withholding food from him in the late 1980's, which led to his death at the age of 3. Young is charged with pre-meditated first degree murder of a child. She was indicted by a Grand Jury this week, according to WCJB. It's unclear whether she's hired or been assigned a lawyer at this time.

The arrest comes as the result of a year-long investigation, but police promise it won't end there. Many of Young's former students are aiding authorities to confirm as many reports as possible against "Mother Anna." Police believe there will be more revelations of brutality, abuse, kidnapping, and possibly even other murders, all attributed to Young and her boarding school.

They say the biggest impediment in confirming the stories about Young are that so many witnesses are dead — either at her hands or in the intervening years since.