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California mom accused of killing 3-year-old daughter in church exorcism 'never showed remorse': report

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A mother who is accused of killing her 3-year-old daughter while performing an exorcism inside a California church in 2021 has reportedly “never expressed remorse,” according to Santa Clara County prosecutors.

Officials said that on Sept. 24, 2021, Claudia Hernandez-Santos allegedly believed that her daughter, Arely Naomi Proctor, was possessed by a “demon” when the girl was tortured to death inside a small Pentecostal church, Iglesia Apostoles y Profetas, in San Jose.

Proctor’s uncle, Rene Aaron Hernandez-Santos, and her grandfather, Rene Trigueros Hernandez, were also arrested in connection to her murder. Prosecutors believe that both participated in the 12-hour exorcism in which Proctor was smothered and strangled until dying of asphyxia.

“She has shown no remorse for the violent assault she committed against Arely, and she does not believe that what she did was wrong,” Deputy District Attorney Rebekah Wise wrote in court documents obtained by KRON.


Investigators stated that Claudia also picked out and bought a funeral dress for Proctor while she was still alive. 

Claudia decided that her daughter had to die when she “received a vision from God that told her that (God) was going to Arely,” according to court documents. She then told police that, two weeks before Arely was killed, she had a vision of dropping her daughter off at the gates of heaven. “Claudia said she thought, ‘Okay, baby. You have to go,'” court documents stated. 

On the day of Arely’s death, Claudia allegedly told police that she believed her daughter was possessed by demons because she would wake up in the middle of the night and sometimes scream and cry. 

She told investigators that she tried sticking her finger down the girl’s throat and squeezed her neck to induce vomiting, prosecutors said. No one called 911 for medical assistance or performed lifesaving measures, authorities said.

The police were called one to two hours after the girl’s death. She had multiple injuries around her eyes, face, neck and chest, authorities said. 

Claudia has been locked in jail without bail for the past 30 months awaiting trial. 


Church exorcism

Prosecutors are also seeking to ensure that the mother and her uncle and grandfather remain locked up until their jury trial. All three have pleaded not guilty to Arely’s murder.

The grandfather served as the church’s lead pastor until his arrest in 2022, according to KRON. Prosectors stated that he and Rene Aaron Hernandez-Santos have shown no remorse for Arely’s death, just like her mother. 

“A child is gone because of unimaginable behavior by the same people who should have been taking care of her,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said previously in a statement. 

On May 13, a Santa Clara judge ruled that there is enough evidence for all three suspects to stand trial for assault causing the death of a child. All three remained in custody without bail as of Wednesday, according to inmate records.

The DA’s Office told KRON that Claudia poses a considerable flight risk because she is facing a life sentence if convicted.

Their next court appearance is set for Aug. 14. 

Fox News Digital reached out to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office for comment.  

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