Arabella McCormack murder: Megachurch leader and her parents arrested for torturing daughter, 11, to death
Leticia McCormack was a key figure at the megachurch NFL player Miles McPherson created
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SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA: A San Diego woman and her two parents were arrested after the death of 11-year-old Arabella McCormack. San Diego police officers discovered Arabella in late August after they responded to a complaint about a child in distress at a Spring Valley residence. After being taken to a hospital in a hurry, the 11-year-old died. According to a police spokeswoman, Arabella exhibited "severe levels of malnourishment" and was covered in bruises. Arabella was first fostered by Brian and Leticia McCormack before being adopted.
Leticia was a key figure at the megachurch NFL player Miles McPherson created and oversaw in San Diego, called Rock Church. The church's website has now deleted her leadership profile. The 49-year-old church leader was arrested on November 7 and charged with three counts of deliberate and cruel treatment of a child, three counts of torture, and one count of murder.
According to a police statement, Leticia's father, 75-year-old Stanley Tom, was also charged with murder, three counts of torture, and three counts of intentional and cruel treatment of a child. Adella Tom, Arabella's 70-year-old grandmother, was arrested on three counts of torture and three counts of deliberate and malicious cruelty to a child as reported by Times of San Diego.
However, when the police approached Arabella's father, Brian, outside the family's house to inquire about the young girl's death, he reportedly killed himself in front of the authorities. The San Diego Sheriff's office verified to People through a representative that Brian worked for US Customs and Border Protection. According to the police, Arabella had two sisters who are six and seven years old who lived with her. Both of them are currently in foster care.
All three daughters moved in with Leticia in 2017, and their adoptions were completed "a couple years later," according to family and friends who spoke to NBC San Diego. The church said it is breaking relations with Leticia in a statement to NBC San Diego.
"The Rock no longer has any official relationship with Leticia. Her ordination at Rock Church was previously suspended and is in the process of being revoked," the statement read. "We continue to grieve for Arabella and her sisters. We are so sorry that their family and friends are experiencing this unimaginable loss and pain. We send our deepest condolences to all that are grieving at this time. Our hearts go out to each of them. The legal process will run its course and we hope justice for Arabella and her sisters will be served. We are praying that God's love and grace will bring comfort and healing."
It was unclear right away if Leticia and her parents have hired a lawyer to speak on their behalf. According to The Times of San Diego, all three entered not guilty pleas on November 9 and are still in custody without bail.