San Jose, Calif. ( Associated Press) – The grandfather and uncle of a 3-year-old girl who was last killed during an exorcism at a Northern California church were arrested this week in connection with her death, police said Friday.
The child, Arely Naomi Proctor, died last September after family members performed a ceremony because they believed she was “possessed by an evil spirit,” court documents show. The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner’s office ruled the death to be a suffocation homicide.
Police on Wednesday arrested Rene Trigueros-Hernández, the child’s grandfather and pastor of Iglesia Apostol y Profetas, a small Pentecostal church in San Jose, and Rene Hernández-Santos, the child’s uncle. The San Jose Police Department said in a statement that they were arrested on charges of child abuse, which led to the death of the victim.
In January, the girl’s mother, Claudia Hernández-Santos, was arrested and charged with assaulting a child that resulted in her death.
It was not immediately known whether the girl’s grandfather and uncle have a lawyer to speak on their behalf. The Santa Clara Public Defender Office, which is representing Claudia Henández-Santos, did not immediately return a message Friday from The Associated Press.
According to court records, Claudia Hernández-Santos told police she believed her daughter was captured because she “wake up from time to time and scream or cry.” He and his brother brought the child to church on 24 September, where his father joined them for an exorcism.
Claudia Hernández-Santos told police that she attempted to insert her finger around her daughter’s throat to induce vomiting and that the child “slept several times” while he pushed her hand over her throat, court documents show. show.
The girl’s mother is accused of not giving food to the girl and squeezed her by the neck, while the grandfather and uncle held the child down.
Claudia Hernández-Santos told police she waited two hours to call the police after her daughter did not respond, records show.
Grandfather told Mercury News last week that he performed a ceremony to “free the child from his evil spirits.” He did not want to reveal the details of the exorcism, but said his granddaughter was asleep when she went to church and the ceremony took two hours.
“If you read the Bible, you will see that Jesus cast out demons and healed the sick,” he told the newspaper. “It’s not when I want to do it, it’s when God wants to heal the person by His will. The preacher is like an instrument of God; we do what God says.”