Charisma News reported last week that 23-year-old Micah Moore, of Kansas City, Mo., confessed to the murder of 27-year-old nurse Bethany Deaton, whose death was initially ruled a suicide. Moore was a student at the International House of Prayer University, and Deaton interned at the university in 2009.
Moore lived with Deaton, her husband and other men, county prosecutors said. According to a probable cause statement, Moore told a detective he and the other men in the home, including Deaton's husband, had been drugging and sexually assaulting her for months.
The statement claimed witnesses called this a “religious community” where they had sex with each other, and Deaton's husband, Tyler Deaton, was the spiritual leader.
University President Allen Hood offered a statement last week, seen in full here:
“The International House of Prayer University (IHOPU) faculty was saddened by the tragic death of Bethany Leidlein Deaton on Oct. 30. Bethany had attended a six-month internship at IHOPU in 2009 and went on to become a registered nurse working in a local hospital.
“On Nov. 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 five 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 all affected by her tragic and untimely death.
“Due to the ongoing police investigation we have no further comment at this time.”