Live

Watch CBSN Live

Report: "Satanic rituals" at N.C. house where bodies found

CLEMMONS, N.C. - Authorities have identified the skeletal remains found in shallow graves in the backyard of a house in Clemmons as those of two men who disappeared in 2009.

Multiple media outlets report that search warrants identify the men as 37-year-old Joshua Fredrick Wetzler and 36-year-old Tommy Dean Welch.

Charged in their deaths are 35-year-old Pazuzu Algarad and 24-year-old Amber Nicole Burch, who lived at the house. Another woman is charged as being accessory after the fact.

CBS affiliate WFMY reports that court documents allege that Algarad and Burch "regularly" performed "satanic rituals" and "animal sacrifices" at the house where the bodies were found. The home was full of "mold, garbage, debris and animal feces."

According to the station, Algarad changed his name from John Lawson in 2002. 'Pazuzu' is the name of a demonic god referenced in the movie "The Exorcist."

Authorities have not said how Wetzler and Welch died or what connection they may have had to Algarad and Burch. Arrest warrants say Wetzler was killed in July 2009 and Welch in October 2009.

Burch and Algarad are being held without bond. WFMY reports that both have previous convictions for assaulting Algarad's mother, who was reportedly in the house when the two were arrested. In 2010, Algarad reportedly choked his mother until she couldn't breathe, but that she said she didn't want to 'prosecute' him because she was afraid of him.

And in 2011, Burch was reportedly convicted of hitting her mother-in-law. Records say, she "slapped, pushed and attempted to choke her."

WFMY also reports that Algarad was involved in a 2010 homicide but was put on probation instead of serving prison time.

A neighbor told the station that the couple was "weird" but kind."

"They never did anything that made me feel like they were going to hurt us," said Lauren Hurst.

View CBS News In