Co-founder of embattled Attleboro sect dies

Associated Press/March 8, 2002

Attleboro, Mass. -- The co-founder of the religious sect that has been investigated since two children of members were found buried in the Maine woods died Friday, apparently of a heart attack.

Roger Daneau, 62, who helped start the sect known as ''The Body'' was found dead at his Attleboro home.

His death was not considered suspicious, said Gerry FitzGerald, spokesman for Bristol County District Attorney. FitzGerald said people who live at the home told police that Daneau had recently been complaining of chest pains.

Police said members of the sect, including two of his children, were kneeling by the body when police and firefighters arrived.

Daneau, who ran a masonry company, started the sect with Daniel Robidoux, 61, after the two became friends.

The sect rejects modern medicine and modern institutions. The group has been under investigation since 1999 when it buried a newborn baby alongside his infant cousin in Baxter State Park in Maine. Prosecutors said the infant, Samuel Robidoux, had been starved to death.

His parents, Karen Robidoux and Jacques Robidoux, are charged with murder. The child's aunt, Michelle Robidoux Mingo, is charged as an accessory to assault after allegedly telling the couple she had a vision that the boy should taken off breast milk and fed almond milk.

They deny the charges.

Rebecca and David Corneau, whose son was buried in Maine after he died at childbirth, remain in jail for refusing to tell authorities the whereabouts of another baby. They claim Rebecca Corneau had a miscarriage.

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