Pastor Charged With Death of Toddler Who Was Allegedly Starved in Religious Ritual

This female pastor was arrested after the death of a child.
This female pastor was arrested after the death of a child. (Screengrab)

A suburban Dallas pastor has been charged in connection with the death of a 2-year-old child who was allegedly starved as part of a religious ritual to rid him of demons, authorities said on Wednesday.

Araceli Meza, 49, pastor of a non-denominational Christian church in Balch Springs, is charged with causing serious injury to a child. Police said the child died in the home that housed her small church and where four families lived.

They added that according to witnesses, the boy was given only water for 25 days.

"We believe there could be multiple suspects, including the parents, but we don't know who is a suspect and who is a witness until we interview everyone," Balch Springs Police Lieutenant Mark Maret said.

Police said witnesses told them the boy's body was taken to Mexico by his parents, who have not returned to the United States.

Meza, who is being held on $100,000 bail, declined to be interviewed. An attorney has not been appointed.

Police were led to the house on March 26 by an anonymous tip, four days after witnesses said the boy died. According to arrest documents, witnesses said Meza tried to resurrect the child, who was later wrapped in a blanket and taken to Mexico.

The documents said that a church member told police she tried to give the child food and was scolded for interfering with the ritual to end the demonic possession.

Meza and her husband were church leaders and accompanied the boy's parents to Mexico with his body, witnesses were quoted as saying in the documents.

© 2015 Thomson Reuters. All Rights Reserved. 

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Join us on our podcast each weekday for an interesting story, well told, from Charisma News. Listen at

Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective