The vice president of a church – International Church of Jesus the King – Araceli Meza, 49, was arrested Monday after authorities discovered she helped starve a two-year-old to death when members of the church believed he was possessed by a demon, according to Huffington Post.
Upon the toddlers’ death, Meza held a resurrection ceremony to bring him back to life. In the video, it shows her holding the dead child in her arms as she recites a prayer in Spanish. After Meza applies oil to his forehead, she stated the following.
“In the name of Jesus, I’m utilizing this oil to try to get him back to life.”
The boy’s name has not been released, but Meza had referred to the victim as Benjamin.
Meza claimed that she had direct communication with God, and believed that her payer would bring the child back to life.
— 107.9 FM Dallas (@1079Dallas) April 14, 2015
According to a tip received by the police on March 26, it was stated that when members of the church believed the boy was possessed, they starved him to death as an attempt to rid him of the demon. They kept the child at the church, which is located at Meza’s home at 12300 block of Duke Dr., and would only give him water four to five times per day, but did not give him any food for 25 days.
A witness who lived in the home says that she made an attempt to feed the boy when she saw how weak he had become, but opted not to when she’d receive backlash from the church operators, Meza and her husband Daniel Meza. They said that she shouldn’t involve herself due to the demons inside of the boy.
She complied, but when the toddler died as a result of their actions, she went to the police.
On March 22, the boy died and the resurrection ceremony was held the next day. When Meza realized he wasn’t going to come back to life, his body was sent to Mexico – along with his parents, Liliana Aparicio and Zenon Aparicio – for burial.
As police officials continue to investigate the case, more members of the church may be arrested as most of them played a part in starving the 2-year-old to death.
Although the parents fled to Mexico with the toddler, police officials have communicated with police officials in Mexico, and they are working on locating the family. Balch Springs Police want to schedule an autopsy to uncover how the child died.
Meza was charged with child abuse causing serious bodily injury.