Two people have been arrested in connection with the death of a three-year-old girl in the north of the country California the church during what has been described as an “exorcism”.
The baby, Arely Naomi Proctor, died last September after family members held a ceremony at Iglesia Apostoles y Profetas, a small Pentecostal church in San JoseCourt documents show, because they believed she was “possessed by an evil spirit.”
Local medical examiner’s office death sentence fatal As a result of suffocation and suffocation.
The San Jose Police Department said in a statement that the child’s grandfather, Rene Trigueros Hernandez, and uncle, Rene Hernandez Santos, were arrested this week for child abuse that led to the victim’s death.
The girl’s mother, Claudia Hernandez Santos, was arrested in January and charged with child abuse resulting in death.
It was not immediately known if the girl’s grandfather and uncle had a lawyer who could speak on their behalf. The Santa Clara Public Defense Office, which represents Claudia Henandez Santos, did not immediately send a letter Friday from the Associated Press.
According to court records, Claudia Hernandez Santos told police she believed her daughter was possessed because she “was up and screamed or cried periodically.” She and her brother brought the baby to church on September 24, 2021 in the early morning for an exorcism.
Court documents showed that Claudia Hernandez Santos told police that she had tried to stick a finger to her daughter’s throat to induce vomiting and that the child “slept several times” while pressing her throat with her hand.
The child’s mother is accused of depriving the girl of food, holding her neck and pressing her while the grandfather and uncle pressure the child. The force on the girl’s throat seemed to leave multiple bruises.
Claudia Hernandez Santos told police the family waited two hours before calling the police after the child became unresponsive.
Grandpa Mercury News said Last week he performed a ceremony on the little girl to “liberate her from her evil spirits”.
“If you read the Bible, you will see that Jesus cast out demons and made the sick healthy again,” he told the newspaper. “Not when I want to do it, it is when God, in His will, wants the person to heal. The preacher is like an instrument with God. What we do is what God says.”
Santiago Garcia, owner of the house in which the church operates, Mercury News said He was outside the house during the exorcism and didn’t know what was going on until the police arrived.
“Grandfather told me that they were praying and they believed that through prayer, the Holy Spirit would come and save her… The mother said she was trying to put pressure on her body to drive out her demons,” She said Garcia. “It is so awful. So awful.”
According to different members of churches associated with San Jose Church, it is considered a remote area due to differences in doctrines and practices.
Speaking to Mercury News, Reverend Rafael Escobar, who heads a sister church in the area, described the incident as “shocking” and sought to distance his organization from it.
“A church rooted in God has absolutely nothing to do with exorcism, you can’t mix these things with God… these are satanic things,” Escobar told Mercury News. “This is not at all common in our church and we don’t practice it…it really shocks me a lot.”
The Associated Press contributed to the report