A California mother whose 3-year-old daughter suffocated 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 grateful to her. wouldn’t have to live in that situation. a world where “everything is terrible, like everything is going downhill”.
In a video posted to YouTube on January 27, 2022 and unearthed by The Daily Beast, 25-year-old Claudia Elisia Hernandez Santos tells viewers, “Like, I can sit here and be negative.. sad about the circumstances that she passed away, but it’s like, it’s no use, you know, because that’s what it is, you know, she’s not here with me, what’s it like, you know? And it’s like, what’s the point, you know? I’ll just… humble myself when there’s no point for me to do it, you know? like, I can’t change the past”.
On January 31, Hernandez was booked into the Santa Clara County jail on one count of assaulting a child with the force of a force capable of causing major bodily injury to result in death, according to remand records.
The previously unpublished video of Hernandez discussing her daughter’s shocking death was titled “Arely Naomi Proctor Hernandez” and was nearly 45 minutes long. In it, Hernandez addresses a wide range of topics related to her late child, but one particular point is not going into the details of how she died.
“People can talk, but in the end, I know what happened,” she said. “God knows what happened, and the people who were there when she died know what happened.”
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. At 8 p.m. news of her daughter’s death. When police arrived at the Iglesia Apostoles y Profetas church, located outside a private home in San Jose, they found little Arely unconscious on the floor, said the affidavit obtained by the NBC Bay Area Investigation Unit last time. firstly. After attempting “life-saving measures,” Arely was pronounced dead at an area hospital about 45 minutes later, the affidavit said.
A preliminary autopsy determined her death to be homicide, with asphyxiation listed as the cause. The pastor who allegedly performed the deadly exorcism was identified as Arely’s maternal grandfather. He has not been charged and could not be reached for comment on Tuesday. Santiago Garcia, the owner of the building where the church is located, hung up immediately when contacted by The Daily Beast.
Officers at the scene “learned that the suspects believed the child was possessed by a demon and that they were at the church praying for her,” the affidavit continued. “[Hernandez] provided a statement to a patrol officer stating that the victim was possessed by an evil spirit. [Hernandez] said she tried to stick her finger down the victim’s throat and strangled him to induce vomiting. The victim fell asleep several times while [Hernandez] push down the throat with your hand”.
First responders observed bruising around the child’s eyes, neck, and chest. Hernandez said she and others waited an hour or two before calling 911, according to the affidavit. [Arely] possessed because [she] would wake up periodically screaming or crying,” the affidavit continued. “The defendant and uncle prayed for [Arely] while in the bedroom. “
Around 6:30 a.m. the next morning, Hernandez and her uncle drove Arely to Iglesia Apostoles y Profetas, still believing that the girl was under demonic control. She told police she held her daughter around her waist and neck to “help her throw up, which she believes will help her get her spirits up”. Along the way, Hernandez’s father, the pastor of the church, showed up to assist. The three of them continued to try and induce vomiting, and Arely ended up throwing out “a clear/purple liquid,” the affidavit stating Hernandez said she believed her daughter died of sometime between 6 to 6:30 pm, about 12 hours later. to church.
“The victim last ate on Thursday, September 23 at around 9 p.m.,” the affidavit read. “The victim was given only about 6 oz of water from Thursday until her death.”
A few days later, Hernandez set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for funeral expenses. The description on her Instagram profile includes a nod to “Isaiah 55:8-11,” a biblical verse about finding strength in difficult times.
Hernandez’s father, who was not named on the affidavit but has been identified by San Jose Mercury-News as Rene Huezo, told the outlet, “If you read the Bible, you’ll see that Jesus casts out demons and makes sick people healthy again… Not when I wanted to do that. , but when God, in His will, wants to heal people. Preachers are like an instrument of God; what we do is what God says.”
Iglesia Apostoles y Profetas is also linked to a man who was arrested, along with two others, for allegedly abducting a baby boy last month from his grandmother’s apartment. In a video posted to the church’s YouTube channel, Baldemeo Sandoval, who is believed to be married to prime suspect Yesenia Guadalupe Ramirez, can be seen giving a sermon to parishioners in July 2020. The following prosecutors that dropped charges against Sandoval, but not those facing Ramirez and another man, Jose Roman Portillo.
Professor Allison Kavey, whose research focuses on the history of magic, science and religion, told The Daily Beast that exorcisms have become increasingly popular over the past five to seven years in both the United States and the United States. Latin.
“One of the challenges is that the Catholic Church has not prepared priests for exorcisms for over 100 years, so this need is not being met by those who are qualified,” said Kavey, who teaches at John, New York City, said. Jay College of Criminal Justice. “There is also some demand in evangelical churches, so the increased demand is coming from Christians.”
The idea of demon possession goes back to ancient times, says Kavey, noting that a range of cultural factors present in today’s society seem to be driving the need for exorcisms: poverty, anxiety and lack of faith. believe in the state and medicine. .
“When people choose an explanation like demonic possession in the 21st century, I think we need to ask why,” Kavey continued. “And I have argued that when people choose a magical explanation, or a supernatural explanation, it is because the natural explanations are unsatisfactory. And often that means… the supernatural explanation is more comforting to them because it doesn’t have any blame or responsibility.”
It is clear that it is very difficult for parents to accept that their child will be eliminated by a disease or illness, and people want to believe that they can do something about a problem that they can. not fully understood, according to Kavey.
“So we attribute those problems to unknown things, like God or the devil, and then we try to solve them through human intervention,” she said.
In a YouTube video she recorded before her arrest, Hernandez dodged to detail the events of September 24 but happily recounted the pregnancy as a joyful period in her life.
Hernandez met her unnamed partner in 2016 and moved with him to another state, she says in the clip. When she first thought she was pregnant, a home test the couple bought at Walgreens later gave them hope.
“Like, I was so nervous, I didn’t know what to expect… but whatever, so I did what I had to,” she said. “We waited a minute…and then it made a sound. And I’m, like, relieved about this but at the same time I’m sad… I’m scared but I’m so excited to be a mom.”
They then decided to try to get pregnant, Hernandez explained, adding that she developed an infection during the process and sought treatment at the hospital.
“We just sat there, and they made me – you know how they make you pee in a cup to see what it is, right – so the nurse came in and she said, ‘Did you know you’re pregnant? are not?’ ‘ Hernandez recalls. “And I just said, ‘What?!’ and I looked at him and he had the biggest smile on his face… And then she left and we were, like, so excited… I wasn’t even prepared, like, I decided to get pregnant and … I just want to have a child, that’s all. ”
Though Hernandez says in the video that Arely would “wake up like, five times a night and it’s exhausting,” she says, “I’ll always tell her I love her… and just make sure to make sure that she will show so much love… Now it’s hard, from having her every day to not having her at all… I thought I wouldn’t see her grow… but I know her are in a better place. ”
If convicted, Hernandez, who is being held without bail, faces between 25 years and life in prison. Her court-appointed attorney did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment. Hernandez’s next court appearance is set for June 13.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/claudia-hernandez-mom-of-3-year-old-arely-killed-in-san-jose-church-exorcism-shrugged-it-off-in-youtube-vid?source=articles&via=rss Claudia Hernandez, Mother of 3-Year-Old Kid Killed in San Jose Church Exorcism, Shrinks In YouTube Vid