Cult leader dies in prison

Liberty Tribune, Missouri/May 7, 2014

Twenty-one years ago this week, an “Unsolved Mysteries” segment aired and led to the arrest of a cult leader from Liberty. A month ago, that same man died while an inmate at Southeast Correctional Center in Charleston.

Nelson DeCloud, 73, died April 4, according to the Missouri Department of Corrections. He had served about 20 years of a 220-year sentence from Clay County for kidnapping, felonious restraint, forcible rape and forcible sodomy.

Foul play was not involved in DeCloud’s death.

DeCloud was the spiritual leader of an evangelist group. A former member exposed the cult in 1992 after escaping, reporting to authorities incidents including being left out in a field without food or water for eight hours after refusing to have sex with DeCloud.

DeCloud disappeared but was later taken into custody in 1993 after an “Unsolved Mysteries” viewer recognized him on the show.

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