Mother said she spoke with the Lord for three weeks before she grabbed her 3-year-old daughter by the neck while the uncle and the grandfather held her and tried to make her threw up because the girl was possessed, inflicting injuries that resulted in her death

A distressing case involving the alleged exorcism death of a 3-year-old girl has led to serious criminal charges against the child’s family, including her mother, uncle, and grandfather, who is also a pastor. The preliminary hearing is set for May 10, where a judge will determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.

On September 24, 2021, firefighters arrived at a church to a harrowing scene: young Arely was found deceased on the church’s altar. Court documents revealed a gruesome account of the events leading to Arely’s death, showing she suffered multiple injuries. The mother of the child, 25-year-old Claudia, confessed to law enforcement that she had been communicating with God for three weeks prior to Arely’s death, who allegedly told her that her destiny was not to be a mother. Claudia, her 20-year-old brother Aaron, and their 60-year-old father Rene face charges of felony assault on a child causing death. The charges stem from their actions during a ritual they believed would rid Arely of demonic possession, which included forcibly holding her and attempting to make her vomit.

Aaron admitted to the police that his actions during the ritual might have contributed to Arely’s death, stating that “divine messages” during the ritual told him to apply more pressure. He recounted that there were moments when he was instructed to squeeze her harder, leading him to question his purported spiritual gifts after the tragedy. He also said that Claudia most likely delivered the killing blow by grabbing the 3-year-old’s neck, according to court documents. According to prosecutors, during the ritual at the church, Arely was held above the ground in a “superman” position by the adults, struggling to break free. In a heart-wrenching moment, she told her mother, “I love you,” even as the exorcism continued. Claudia later reported that after Arely vomited, she was placed on the floor, where she eventually stopped breathing. Claudia said that it was then that God revealed to her that Arely would not return.

The autopsy revealed that Arely suffered from brain swelling, pulmonary hemorrhage, noticeable marks on her neck, and injuries inside her mouth, consistent with a violent physical assault. Claudia allegedly maintained to investigators that her daughter was truly possessed. Their father, Rene, expressed unwavering belief in his daughter’s claims about the possession. The upcoming court date will potentially set the stage for a trial that will delve deeper into the disturbing details of the case and the family’s claims of demonic possession. The prosecutor’s office, along with local law enforcement, has expressed a commitment to seeking justice for Arely.

Gayle Gordon

As a college student, making an extra buck now and then was very important. I started as a part-time reporter since I was 19 yo, and I couldn’t believe it might become a long-time career. I'm happy to be part of the Virginian Tribune's team.

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