A Northern California woman has been arrested for allegedly beating, biting, and choking her daughter while trying to perform an exorcism.
Kimberly Felder, 45, was arrested on Sunday after allegedly stripping her 11-year-old daughter naked on a remote beach before an attempted exorcism, according to the Associated Press. The alleged assault was witnessed by a crowd of a dozen people, according to the Sacramento Bee. The mom shoved sand into her daughter's mouth and eyes before a witness tried to stop the attack.
The witness, John Marciel, said Felder told him she was trying to remove demons from her daughter. Marciel told the Associated Press that Felder hit the girl's head with a piece of driftwood even as Marciel tried to restrain her. He attempted to wrestler Felder to the ground while on the phone with police. When authorities arrived, Felder was arrested and charged with attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, child abuse, and aggravated mayhem.
"She [Felder] questioned me about my faith," Marciel told the Associated Press on Sunday.
The daughter had multiple injuries, including severe damage to her right ear. She will be placed in protective child custody, according to the AP. Police said if Marciel hadn't intervened, it was very likely the girl would have been killed.
"When you see something like this, it shakes your foundation and faith in people," Marciel said.
Police said that Felder took a toxicology test to determine whether she was under the influence of drugs. The results have not returned yet.
[Humboldt County Sheriff's Office]