More charges have been filed against family members in the shocking exorcism death of little Arely Hernandez.
The 3-year-old girl was killed during a gruesome 12-hour ritualistic torture in a California church at the hands of her own closest relatives in September.
Uncle Rene Aaron Hernandez-Santos, 19, and grandfather, Rene Trigueros Hernandez, 59, were charged with felony abuse Friday by Santa Clara County authorities.
The girl’s own mother, Claudia Hernandez, 25, was charged in January, arraigned, and remanded to jail, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office. She smothered and strangled her daughter until she died of asphyxia, officials claim.
The mom later posted a smiling video dismissively saying, “It is what it is.”
“Evidence shows that the now-three charged suspects in the child’s death believed that they were expelling an ‘evil demon’ from the child’s body,” the office said in a statement. “The mother believed that her daughter was possessed by a demon because the little girl would wake up in the middle of the night and cry.”
The three suspects “at various points were praying, strangling, and pushing on the child’s 38-pound body to cause her to vomit up the evil spirit,” the statement continued.
The girl’s grandfather is the pastor at the “small, makeshift” church on South 2nd Street in San Jose.
“A child is gone because of unimaginable behavior by the same people who should have been taking care of her,” said Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen.