A rented room on the side of a house on South Second Street in San Jose was converted into a small church with seating for about 40 people.
It’s the same place a 3-year-old girl was killed in an apparent exorcism allegedly involving the girl’s mother, Claudia Hernandez, her uncle and grandfather, the pastor – both named Rene Hernandez.
Prosecutors say that in September, Claudia took her little girl to the church – where the three prayed and then physically abused the girl over a 12-hour period.
After all three were arrested, the landlord told the church to leave, giving the remaining members 30 days notice.
NBC Bay Area’s sister station Telemundo 48 Monday spoke with a man who claims to be a member of the church.
Misael Bermudez said that when he heard of the exorcism, it made no sense because all they do is pray for the sick and don't engage in that kind of demonic behavior.
He added that he knows the three suspects, along with another member of the church, Yesenia Ramirez, who was arrested in April in the kidnapping of baby Brandon Cuellar.
A story that also made national headlines – connected to this one small room and its congregation.
He never suspected any of it.
“This has caused sadness among the church because you learn to appreciate all the members. The fact that this is happening is really sad,” said Bermudez.
The three members of the Hernandez family are being held in jail without bail. If convicted in the girl’s death, all three face 25 years to life in prison.