Alleged cult leader speaks out on missing group; Berkeley police search for new clues

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BERKELEY, Mo. – More than half a year has passed since six people with ties to the St. Louis area vanished. Authorities believed all six had ties to an online cult before their disappearance.

The Berkeley Police Department first informed FOX 2 of the missing group in early January. At that point, they were last reported to be seen in St. Louis County around August 12.

Search efforts have stretched several weeks for the six missing people. Police say that group includes:

Berkeley Police Major Steve Runge says his department has received a few tips on the potential whereabouts of the missing six since a January press release on the matter, but nothing has panned out to finding them in recent weeks.

“We still haven’t had any luck. We’ve been working nonstop on this case, but there’s nothing new as far as finding them goes,” said Runge in a phone call Tuesday with FOX 2.

The Berkeley Police Department describes Rashad Jamal as an alleged cult leader with possible ties to the missing group.

Jamal, whose legal last name is White, is a self-proclaimed prophet with tens of thousands of followers through several social media platforms. Police say his rhetoric “includes a mix of polygamy, sovereign citizenship, ancient mythology, and cosmic universe beliefs.”

Authorities say Jamal is serving an 18-year sentence in Georgia for child molestation, a ruling that reportedly took effect last year. Since his sentence and Berkeley’s announcement on the police investigation into the missing group, new content has emerged on Jamal’s social media platforms.

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