Houston — Rick Alan Ross is a world-renowned cult expert. He's worked with numerous law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"I testified at the criminal trial of Keith Raniere, the leader of NXIVM," Ross said.
He's the author of "Cults Inside Out."
Ross has participated in about 500 cult interventions around the world. He's been following the Holly Marie mystery and last week's announcement from the Texas Attorney General's Office.
"Two women who identified themselves as the nomadic religious women's group brought Holly to the church," said Brent Webster, an investigator with the Texas Attorney General's Cold Case and Missing Persons unit. "They were wearing white robes and they were barefoot. They indicated the beliefs of their religion including the separation of male and female members."
That information rang some bells for Ross. He said he's familiar with a group that is very similar.
"My mind immediately went to Christ Family," Ross said. "The fact that this is a wandering nomadic group. That they would go state from state. And the group would typically make demands. They would say, 'We don't want your child, you should send your child away.' Children were not treated well in the group they were treated as excess baggage."
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Ross believes Christ Family is the group investigators are talking about.
"There is no other group that fits this profile," Ross said.
Investigators said that in the Fall of 1980, Holly Marie Clouse was left at a church in Arizona. The remains of Dean and Tina Clouse, Holly's parents, were found off Wallisville Road in North Harris County in January of 1981.
This past March, the family members visited where investigators discovered the bodies more than 40 years ago.
"We need to find pieces of the puzzle to solve this crime," Webster said.
Ross believes he knows what happened.
"I strongly suspect the group is responsible for what happened," Ross said.
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