9th suspect in involuntary child servitude case surrenders in Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) —  Nine of 10 suspects in a Cumberland County child involuntary servitude case are now in custody, officials say.

CLICK HERE to see the mugshots of the 10 suspects

Deputies say a total of 10 members of a religious group run by John McCollum are facing charges, including accusations that they held children in involuntary servitude.

Four suspects turned themselves in earlier on Friday and four others were taken into custody earlier.

Around 7:30 p.m. Friday, Daffene Edge, who was wanted on a charge of continuing criminal enterprise, surrendered at the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, officials said.

Earlier Friday, Irish Williams, Kassia Lynn Rogers, Shirnitka and Shirley McNatt surrendered at the sheriff’s office, Cumberland County authorities said.

McCollum, Cornelia McDonald, Brenda Hall and Pamela Puga Luna were all already in custody.

A judge increased Rogers’ bond from $32,000 to $325,000. Rogers is charged with continuing criminal enterprise, involuntary servitude of a minor, and conspiracy.

Williams had her bond raised to $325,000 from $72,000. She is charged with charges of continuing criminal enterprise, obtaining property by false pretense, felony conspiracy, and falsifying documents.

Shirnitka McNatt is being held under a $70,000 bond. Shirley McNatt had her bond raised to $350,000.


They are scheduled to appear in court Feb. 1.

CBS North Carolina learned Wednesday deputies arrested McCollum, saying he forced children between the ages of nine and 17 to work more than 40 hours a week for little to no money at fish markets he ran in the region.

Investigators say the children were not being educated either. Former residents of the McCollum Ranch in Godwin told investigators McCollum and others were holding the kids in involuntary servitude.

Those arrested face a variety of charges including involuntary servitude of a minor, felony child abuse, continuing criminal enterprise, and conspiracy.


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