A pastor's wife has been arrested after a toddler allegedly died following a forced 25-day fast. Then, she and other church members reportedly held a failed "rising ceremony" in an effort to bring him back to life.
The arrest comes after Balch Springs police apparently received a tip on March 26 that a child had died on March 21 or 22 inside of a home where the church reportedly meets; no one had previously reported the incident to authorities.
A witness said that the resurrection ceremony was held on March 22 in an effort to bring the 2-year-old back from the dead, with the parents later driving the toddler to Mexico along with other church members to be buried, KXAS-TV reported.
A police officer confirmed these details to TheBlaze on Tuesday, noting that the parents' whereabouts are not currently known and that the boy's body has not yet been recovered.
"We don’t know if this was to try and resurrect the spirit of the child and we don’t know if this was to try and resurrect the child themselves or what exactly that service or ceremony encompasses," Lt. Mark Maret told KTVT-TV of the supposed ceremony. "This is all new, that’s why we are pulling in a lot of other agencies and their resources and their knowledge and assistance in this investigation."
Meza, who was reportedly not the 2-year-old boy's mother, was arrested Monday and is being held on $100,000 bond, KXAS-TV reported.
The pastor's wife is said to appear in a video of the "rising ceremony," holding the child, as others, including a man that appears to be her husband, Pastor Daniel Meza, assembling around the toddler.
According to the Daily Mail, she is seen using oils, praying and speaking in tongues during the ceremony, which was said to have lasted hours.
See a portion of that purported event below (caution: disturbing footage):
The witness said that faith leaders at the church believed that the boy, identified as Benjamin, was possessed by demons; he reportedly didn't eat for 25 days before his death, the Daily Mail reported.
It has also been reported that the church, which was meeting inside of a private home, was operating against city codes. The Meza family both lived and worshipped there and the deceased child's family is also reported to have resided there, according to WFAA-TV.
(H/T: Daily Mail)