Elder at ARC Megachurch Arrested on Charges of Murdering Daughter

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Read time: 2 minutes 25 seconds

The San Diego Sheriff's department announced the arrest of three people in connection to the death of 11-year-old Aarabella McCormack.

Her adopted mother, Leticia McCormack, played a prominent role at the Rock Church in San Diego, which is a member of the Association of Related Churches (ARC). She was an ordained elder as well as the ministry leadership coordinator for the Rock School of Ministry.

McCormack and her father, Stanley Tom, are both charged with murder, three counts of torture and three counts of willful cruelty to a child.

These charges stem from the Aug. 30 death of Aarabella and the removal of her two younger sisters, ages 6 and 7, from the home. The two younger children were also hospitalized for several days.

The specific events surrounding Aarabella's death are still unknown, but she was hospitalized after authorities arrived at the residence and suffered a continual decline in her health until she died.

San Diego Child Welfare Services soon became involved in the matter. Following an investigation on their part, they believed abuse and neglect played a role in the matter and removed Aarabella's siblings from the McCormack household.

As reported by NBC7 San Diego, when San Diego sheriff's deputies arrived at the McCormack house, "Aarabella's adoptive father, Brian McCormack, took his own life in front of deputies."

The children's biological parents, Chelsey Sambrano and Torriana Florey, shared with the Roys Report that, "They noticed signs of abuse shortly after their children were placed in the McCormack's' home. The two said they reported their suspicions to the Rock Church and Child Welfare Services, but neither organization took their reports seriously."

Following the Nov. 7 arrest, the San Diego Sheriff's Department released the following statement:

"The safety of our children is of paramount importance to the Sheriff's Department. We respond to all reports alleging child abuse and neglect. . .. Gathering evidence and conducting interviews must be done methodically while protecting the children and preserving the rights of parents and family members."

The Rock Church also released a statement through a spokesperson regarding the matter:

"We have received notice that Leticia and her parents have been arrested as a result of the Sheriff's Department investigation. 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 .... We are praying that God's love and grace will bring comfort and healing .... 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."

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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.


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