Categories: US

California church leader charged with murder in daughter’s death

A California megachurch leader and her parents have been arrested on charges of murder and torture in the death of an 11-year-old daughter.

Leticia McCormack, a leader at Rock Church in San Diegofounded and led by former NFL player Miles McPherson, was jailed Monday on charges of murder, three counts of torture and three counts of willful and cruel to a child in connection with the death of Arabella McCormack, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office reports.

Arabella was initially raised before being adopted by Brian and Leticia McCormack, officials said.

The father of the 49-year-old church elder, Stanley Tom, 75, was also charged with murder, three counts of torture and three counts of willful and cruel to a child. according to a press release of the department. Arabella’s grandmother Adella Tom, 70, was tried on three counts of torture and three counts of willful and cruel to a child.

The church had no choice but to immediately ask USA TODAY for comment.

McCormack’s leadership profile has since been removed from the Church’s website.

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‘Severe levels of malnutrition’

On Aug. 30, officers responded to a child in distress at a home in Spring Valley, located in an eastern part of the county, where they found Arabella, according to a press release from the sheriff’s office.

The 11-year-old was rushed to a hospital where her health deteriorated and she died, officials said, according to the release. Detectives said they suspected signs of child abuse during the investigation.

The girl was bruised and suffering from “severe levels of malnutrition,” a police spokesperson said told The San Diego Union-Tribune.

While investigating Arabella’s death, officers contacted her father, Brian McCormack, near the family’s home. According to the release, he died by suicide in their presence.

Arabella had two sisters aged 6 and 7, the release continues, who are currently living with a foster family.

The sheriff’s department was not immediately available to USA TODAY on Thursday.

Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at nalund@usatoday.com and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.

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