Arizona man killed a 6-year-old boy trying to 'cast the demon out,' police say

An Arizona man forced hot water down a 6-year-old boy's throat, killing him in an attempt to "cast the demon out," police said in a criminal complaint. The man was arrested on a federal charge of first degree murder.

Posted: Oct 1, 2019 9:20 AM
Updated: Oct 1, 2019 9:20 AM

An Arizona man forced hot water down a 6-year-old boy's throat in an attempt to "cast the demon out" Thursday, police said in a criminal complaint.

Pablo Martinez, 31, who lives on the Pascua Yaqui Indian Reservation near Tucson, was arrested on a federal charge of first degree murder, according to a statement from a spokeswoman for the FBI office in Phoenix. The child's adopted mother is a member of the Pascua Yaqui Indian Tribe, but Martinez is not.

CNN has not been able to reach Pablo Martinez, his defense attorney or any members of his family.

Martinez told police he noticed a demon inside the 6-year-old within the last week, the complaint said.

He volunteered to give the boy a bath Thursday, he and the child's adoptive mother, Romelia Martinez, told police.

At one point, she heard a gurgling sound coming from the bathroom and told investigators that she saw that the bathroom door was locked. She unlocked the bathroom door and saw Martinez holding the boy under the faucet of the bathtub, according to the complaint.

Romelia Martinez told investigators that she screamed at Martinez to stop several times, but he told her "he had to do it," according to the complaint.

Martinez told investigators that, during the bath, he observed the child "have an unnatural fit of rage" and this led him to hold the 6-year-old's head under the faucet for "five to 10 minutes," the complaint said. Martinez also told investigators the hot water was casting out the demon.

Martinez says that Romelia Martinez tried to call a pastor, but when the pastor didn't answer she called 911. She told police she immediately called 911 and saw Martinez attempt CPR on the boy and pour cold water on him, the complaint said.

When Pascua Yaqui police and fire officials arrived at the home, Romelia and Pablo Martinez were outside. Police asked them what happened.

Romelia Martinez told investigators "something to the effect of 'He can tell you.'"

Martinez told police that they would not understand and that police were not in the right mindset or belief, the complaint said. As police continued to ask him questions, court documents say Martinez put his hands in the air and said "something to the effect of 'I did it.'"

Martinez told police the boy was "demonic, had a demon inside him and that he needed to save him," the complaint said. Romelia Martinez also told investigators the boy had been acting demonic, the complaint said.

Pascua Yaqui firefighters found the boy naked and propped up on a pillow. He appeared to not be breathing, the complaint said.

The child was taken to Banner University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead with burns on about 15% of his body, the complaint said, with burns on his forearms, elbows and head.

A joint investigation between the Pascua Yaqui Police Department and the FBI is ongoing, according to a statement from the Pascua Yaqui Tribe.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 775686

Reported Deaths: 14025
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1066871814
Lake572681031
Allen43500701
Hamilton37653427
St. Joseph37508568
Elkhart29882471
Tippecanoe23732232
Vanderburgh23634405
Porter19690327
Johnson19020394
Hendricks18271323
Clark13730199
Madison13719348
Vigo12949256
Monroe12691180
LaPorte12645225
Delaware11218198
Howard10832237
Kosciusko9851124
Hancock8855150
Bartholomew8343157
Warrick8216157
Floyd8128183
Grant7457181
Boone7289105
Wayne7273201
Morgan6988143
Marshall6376117
Dubois6327118
Cass6130112
Noble607391
Dearborn605878
Henry6001111
Jackson520977
Shelby514898
Lawrence5020128
Gibson471697
Montgomery464792
Clinton462755
DeKalb461485
Harrison459277
Huntington429082
Whitley421045
Steuben414561
Miami411573
Jasper403957
Knox397291
Putnam388762
Wabash373884
Adams358956
Ripley354571
Jefferson351487
White341854
Daviess3110100
Wells305981
Greene298485
Decatur294393
Posey288235
Fayette287764
Scott285458
LaGrange278873
Clay277649
Washington257638
Randolph248583
Jennings243349
Spencer240531
Fountain239050
Starke231559
Owen226759
Sullivan224143
Fulton210446
Jay204132
Carroll200623
Orange194456
Perry193139
Vermillion183444
Rush179127
Tipton174348
Franklin173935
Parke157816
Pike144034
Blackford138732
Pulaski124748
Newton124137
Benton111615
Brown106743
Crawford106716
Martin92715
Warren88715
Switzerland8568
Union73910
Ohio58711
Unassigned0429

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1132798

Reported Deaths: 20530
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1312911496
Cuyahoga1180592268
Hamilton830231263
Montgomery541901064
Summit491891018
Lucas43982835
Butler40324615
Stark34056941
Lorain26232511
Warren25125312
Mahoning22881614
Lake21602397
Clermont20592261
Delaware19295138
Licking16977227
Fairfield16959207
Trumbull16940493
Medina16019278
Greene15721254
Clark14439309
Portage13548219
Wood13411201
Allen12124245
Richland11870214
Miami11140229
Wayne9344228
Columbiana9282236
Muskingum9207137
Pickaway8796123
Marion8774140
Tuscarawas8756257
Erie8220166
Ashtabula7318180
Hancock7080135
Ross7070165
Geauga7032153
Scioto6887108
Belmont6261179
Lawrence6033106
Union595149
Jefferson5787162
Huron5678122
Sandusky5536130
Darke5476131
Seneca5391128
Washington5391111
Athens528660
Auglaize510587
Mercer492885
Shelby487798
Knox4678112
Ashland450198
Madison450066
Defiance444599
Fulton443275
Putnam4366104
Crawford4152112
Brown414163
Preble3988107
Logan396379
Clinton395667
Ottawa378281
Highland370768
Williams361878
Champaign351760
Guernsey334054
Jackson324954
Perry300550
Morrow298544
Fayette291350
Hardin280465
Henry279067
Coshocton275161
Holmes2735102
Van Wert254465
Gallia254150
Adams253658
Pike247137
Wyandot236557
Hocking224163
Carroll203349
Paulding181542
Meigs153940
Monroe139446
Noble138739
Harrison115738
Morgan112024
Vinton88217
Unassigned04
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 81°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 79°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 79°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 79°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
80° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 80°
The heat and humidity builds into the region as we head into the weekend.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events