A 3-year-old girl was allegedly tortured and killed by her family in a 12-hour exorcism in her granddad’s California church — with her mom later posting a smiling video saying dismissively, “It is what it is.”
Arely Hernandez was found dead on the floor of a small house-based church in San Jose last September with “multiple injuries around her eyes, face, neck and chest.”
She’d been there with her mom, uncle and grandfather who “believed the child was possessed by a demon and were at the church praying for her.”
Arely’s El Salvador-born mom, Claudia Elisa Hernandez, 25, told cops she was certain her tot was “possessed by an evil spirit” — just because she’d woken up screaming.
The mom and her brother [Rene Hernandez-Santos] then took the toddler to the church, where they were met by their father [Rene Trigueros-Hernandez], who “identified as the leader of the church and claimed he was a certified pastor,” the police report said.
They arrived at 6:30 a.m., and over the next 12 hours, they violently pinned her down and stuck fingers down her throat to make her vomit, which they “believed would help her get the spirit out,” the document said.
“Eventually, the victim vomited a clear/purple liquid,” the report said, with an autopsy determining she died of asphyxia due to suffocation and smothering.
Just six days before she was charged, Hernandez posted a nearly 45-minute YouTube video about her dead daughter — smiling and defending herself from apparent critics of her parenting.
“I could sit here and be negative … [but] I cannot change what is. It is what it is,” she said — a phrase she repeated several times.
She said that “a lot of people turned on me after my daughter passed away.”
“I don’t worry too much about that because God knows the truth, and the truth always comes out,” she said.