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 adoptive 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.