Mother & Pastor Grandfather Charged After Allegedly Killing 3-Year-Old Girl In 'Exorcism' Gone Wrong
Two men and a woman have been charged with various crimes relating to a 3-year-old girl’s alleged “exorcism” death in September of last year in San Jose, California.
Authorities in the northern California city allege that the child’s grandfather, 59-year-old Rene Trigueros Hernandez (pictured above, right) — who is also a pastor — and her 19-year-old uncle Rene Hernandez-Santos (pictured above, left) were both allegedly involved in the girl’s death. Also charged was the child’s mother, 25-year-old Claudia Hernandez-Santos (pictured above, middle).
Claudia had previously been charged back in late January with felony child abuse causing death following the passing of the little girl, identified by authorities as Arely Naomi Proctor. Now, late last week, both the younger and elder Rene men were also charged with the same count by police following a months-long investigation.
According to the Mercury-News, Claudia reportedly believed her daughter was possessed by a demon in the days before the little girl’s eventual death on September 24, 2021. Wanting to “liberate her of her evil spirits,” the little girl’s grandfather, who reportedly is the pastor of Iglesia Apostoles y Profetas in the area, intended to perform an exorcism. A statement of facts from the San Jose PD claims (below):
“Defendant 1 explained that on September 23, 2021, she began to believe the victim was possessed, because the victim would wake up and scream or cry periodically.”
When the family reportedly took the little girl to the church at around 6:30 the next day, September 24, they attempted to have her vomit, “believing it would get the ‘spirit’ out.”
The police docs state (below):
“After that, Defendant 1, Defendant 2, and Defendant 3 were all holding victim attempting to cause her to vomit. Defendant 1 described that the three parties would switch where they held the victim while trying to induce vomiting. Eventually, the victim vomited a clear/purple liquid.”
According to the newly-released police documents, Proctor’s 19-year-old uncle was allegedly implicated directly in the little girl’s tragic death, which reportedly occurred while the family was attempting to perform an exorcism on her.
At first, the younger Rene reportedly told police this story (below):
“Around 7:00 p.m., Defendant 2 knelt down beside the victim who was lying on the floor, and he placed one hand on the victim’s chest and one hand on her back. He applied pressure to the victim and maintained pressure for approximately 10 minutes. He stated the victim was alive at the beginning of this and he closed his eyes to pray. Upon opening his eyes, he believed the victim had died. They continued to pray and did not perform any lifesaving measures for the victim.”
Later, on Wednesday of last week, officials said the younger man changed his story.
In his second go-round, the 19-year-old uncle alleged to police:
“In this statement he admitted that at one point he held Victim by the stomach, off the ground facing downward, while Defendant 1 held her by the neck. He stated this lasted for 25 minutes. Defendant 2 again admitted he knelt down beside the victim, who was lying on the floor, placed one hand on the victim’s chest and one hand on her back, and applied pressure to the victim and maintained pressure for 10 minutes.”
As for the elder Rene, he asserted that they had held at least two “prayer sessions” on the child.
In one explainer to police, the grandfather and church pastor reportedly said:
“The first prayer session lasted about an hour and a half, and he described holding victim tightly by her torso while Defendant 1 held her arms and Defendant 2 held her feet. He stated Victim was fighting back and this required him to hold her very tightly. Defendant 3 said the victim had unusual strength and attempted to bite his arm.”
After a second “prayer session,” the grandfather claimed he left the room to take a phone call outside.
When he returned, he claimed to police, he discovered that the little girl was dead.
Here are more of the latest updates on the story from KPIX CBS SF Bay Area (below):
Sadly, in their statement of charges against the trio, authorities allege that apparently none of the three ever performed life-saving measures on the poor girl at any point that day prior to her death.
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