13 missing cult members 'are awaiting the Rapture'

CALIFORNIAN police are searching for religious sect members who left behind letters indicating they were awaiting an apocalyptic event and would soon see Jesus in heaven, authorities said.

The group of 13 Salvadoran immigrants, described as "cult-like" by sheriff's officials, was led by Reyna Marisol Chicas, a 32-year-old woman from near Los Angeles, sheriff's Captain Mike Parker said.

The group left behind mobile phones, identification documents, deeds to property, and letters indicating they were awaiting the Rapture.

"Essentially, the letters say they are all going to heaven to meet Jesus and their deceased relatives," sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said. "Some of the letters were saying goodbye."

The items came from a handbag a member of the group had left with her husband on Saturday and asked him to pray over.

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