An Arizona man is accused of gruesomely murdering a 6-year-old boy in an attempt to “cast the demon” out of him, CNN reports.
Pablo Martinez, 31, is charged with murder in the death of an unidentified 6-year-old boy. Pablo apparently lived on the Pascua Yaqui Indian Reservation, even though he is not a member of the tribe. The boy’s adoptive mother, Romelia Martinez, is a member of the tribe and also lives on the reservation.
Police say that last week, Pablo believed that he saw a demon inside the boy, and decided to remove it. On Thursday, Romelia says, Pablo asked to give the boy a bath, and she agreed.
Moments later, she says, she heard “gurgling” coming from the bathroom. She tried to access the bathroom, but it was locked. However, she was able to unlock it, and when she went inside, she says she saw Pablo allegedly holding the boy underneath the faucet, as scalding-hot water was being forced down his throat.
Romelia says that she screamed at Pablo to stop, but he refused, saying he “had to do it.”
Police arrived and reportedly found the boy naked and on a pillow, and apparently not breathing. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was found to have burns on 15 percent of his body, including on his forearms, elbows and head.
A neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said via Philadelphia’s WPVI-TV that she witnessed the boy’s lifeless body being removed from the home where he’d lived.
“My kids were playing and just, we heard screaming, a man screaming and from there we seen ambulance come and after not even two seconds later, they come with the little boy outside. His hands were just dangling,” she said.
The boy was pronounced dead at the hospital.
When police attempted to question the family, Romelia reportedly pointed at Pablo and said words to the effect of, “He can tell you.”
Pablo Martinez reportedly confessed to police what he’d done, allegedly telling police that, because they don’t share his beliefs, they wouldn’t understand what he’d done. He also reportedly told police that the boy had a demon inside of him and that he needed to rid the boy of it.
He was arrested and charged with federal charges of first degree murder. Meanwhile, Tucson police and the FBI are continuing to investigate this crime as well.
A neighbor said that Pablo’s mother, who had helped with the children, had recently passed away, and that Pablo had “fallen apart” after his mother’s death.