KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Police say that they have a confession, but still a lot of unanswered questions in the murder of Bethany Deaton of Grandview.
According to authorities, Deaton was found dead inside a van on October 30th at Longview Lake. Court documents say that a note was found with Deaton’s body that read, “My name is Bethany Deaton. I chose this evil thing. I did it because I wouldn’t be a real person and what is the point of living if it is too late for that? I wish I had chosen differently a long time ago. I knew it all and refused to listen. Maybe Jesus will still save me.”
Investigators say that pills were also found near Deaton’s body, but Deaton’s admitted killer, 23-year-old Micah Moore, it was all a cover-up to keep the 27-year-old woman quiet. In a statement to Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies, Moore said that he and Deaton were part of a “religious community” – led by Deaton’s husband, Tyler Deaton – in which the members had sex with each other.
According to court documents, witnesses told authorities that Tyler Deaton was viewed as a “Spiritual Leader” who had control over the members of the household. A witness also said that three days after Bethany Deaton’s body was found, Tyler Deaton told him that he had a dream in which he killed his wife by suffocating her.
Tyler Deaton has not been charged with any crimes in connection to his wife’s death.
In the statement, Moore told detectives Bethany Deaton was being drugged and sexually assaulted by him and several other men at a home in Grandview. Moore said they became afraid that Bethany Deaton would tell her therapist about the abuse, so Moore was told by someone whose name was blacked out in the probable cause statement to kill her.
Court documents indicate that Bethany Deaton was given the drug Seroquel – a prescription anti-psychotic drug – during the sexual assaults, and it was given to her in a water bottle on the day of her her murder.
On Friday, authorities searched Moore’s south Kansas City apartment for evidence.
“When I saw his picture in the paper, I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ve seen that guy somewhere before.’ And like I said, he just lives across the street,” said Darren Martin, neighbor.
Tyler and Bethany Deaton, along with Micah Moore, were members of the International House of Prayer, or IHOP. Authorities say that IHOP has been very cooperative throughout the investigation.
On Monday evening, IHOPU president Allen Hood made the following statement on the death of Bethany Deaton:
“The International House of Prayer University (IHOPU) faculty was saddened by the tragic death of Bethany Leidlein Deaton on October 30. Bethany had attended a 6-month internship at IHOPU in 2009 and went on to become a registered nurse working in a local hospital.
On November 10, we were shocked when the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office notified us that an IHOPU student by the name of Micah Moore, a man who knew Bethany since their college days in Texas, had been charged with her murder.
Since Bethany’s death it has come to light that over 5 years ago, both she and Mr. Moore joined an independent, close-knit, religious group in Georgetown, Texas. This religious group of fewer than 20 people was led by Tyler Deaton. They relocated to Kansas City over the last few years and operated under a veil of secrecy.
This group has always operated independently of the university and it is important to all of us that this group’s secrecy and disturbing religious practices are fully exposed.
Mr. Deaton led his religious group entirely independently from IHOPU, though he and some of his members were enrolled in our university.
We have been working closely with the local authorities in their ongoing investigation into Bethany’s death. We continue to fully assist all law enforcement agencies in their efforts to uncover the extent and specifics of this horrific crime.
We are currently taking all necessary steps to minister to our students and ensure their safety and well-being. As an educational institution built around the priority of prayer, we ask everyone to please join us in praying for Bethany’s family and friends and everyone affected by her tragic and untimely death.
Due to the ongoing police investigation we have no further comment at this time.”
Bethany Deaton, who worked as a nurse at Menorah Medical Center and whose obituary described as “brilliant” and a “lover of worship,” was a native of Texas who had married Tyler Deaton in August.
Moore remains in custody in the Jackson County Jail in lieu of $500,000 cash-only bond.