Three-Year-Old Killed in Disturbing Exorcism Ritual by Her Family at California Church, Police Say
May 11, 2022
The church where the girl died is the same one that was searched after 3-month-old baby Brandon Cuellar was kidnapped from a San Jose home
…Police say the 3-year-old girl was a victim of child abuse, as members of the church tried to ward off “evil spirits.”
Investigators said it happened from an exorcism-like ritual done by her family.
Arely Proctor Hernandez, 3, was allegedly deprived of food and water, and repeatedly assaulted in a San Jose church’s attempt to rid her of “evil spirits.”
May 10, 2022
by Justin Rohrlich
A California mom whose 3-year-old daughter suffocated to death during an exorcism to rid the child of “an evil spirit” said shortly before her arrest that she was sad the girl had died but was thankful she wouldn’t have to live in a world where “everything is just so bad, like, everything just going downhill.”
In a video posted to YouTube on Jan. 27, 2022 and unearthed by The Daily Beast, Claudia Elisia Hernandez Santos, 25, told viewers, “Like, I could sit here and be negative… be sad about the whole situation that she passed away, but it’s like, there’s no point, you know, because it is what it is. It is what it is.
You know, she’s not here with me, it is what it is, you know? And it’s like, what’s the point, you know? I’m just gonna be… putting myself down when there’s no point for me to do that, you know? Like, I cannot change the past.”
… However, according to an affidavit filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court, the San Jose Police Department also has a pretty good idea of what happened. The charges against Hernandez can be traced back to Sept. 24, 2021, when Hernandez called police shortly after 8 p.m. to report that her daughter was dead.
When cops arrived at the Iglesia Apostoles y Profetas church, which is run out of a private home in San Jose, they found little Arely unconscious on the floor, states the affidavit, which was first obtained by the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit. After attempting “life-saving measures,” Arely was pronounced dead at an area hospital about 45 minutes later, the affidavit says.
A preliminary autopsy determined her death to have been a homicide, with asphyxia due to suffocation listed as the cause. The pastor who allegedly performed the deadly exorcism was identified as Arely’s maternal grandfather. …
Officers on the scene “learned the suspects believed the child was possessed by a demon and they were at the church praying for her,” the affidavit continues.
by Carlos Garcia
May 11, 2022
A 3-year-old child was killed during an exorcism ritual performed by her family at a small church in San Jose, California, according to court documents.
Claudia Elisa Hernandez, the 25-year-old mother of Arely, was arrested a few days after she posted a 40-minute video talking about the death of her daughter to YouTube.
Court documents said that Hernandez believed she had been possessed by a demon because she would wake up in the middle of the night crying or screaming. They allegedly brought the child to a family church.
“The victim’s grandfather was identified as the leader of the Church and claimed he was a certified pastor,” wrote deputy district attorney Rebekah Wise in the court documents.
Investigators say Arely’s mother and uncle took her to the small church at 6:30 a.m. on Sept. 24. The child’s mother, uncle, and grandfather allegedly held the child down for several hours by her torso, neck, and legs and tried to make her vomit in order to release the demon.
Wise said the child lost consciousness and suffered “multiple injuries around her eyes, face, neck, and chest.”
Arely died after about 12 hours of the abuse by her family and they neglected to call emergency services immediately after her death, police said.