Megachurch Pastor Arrested For Torturing And Murdering Her Adopted Daughter

A 49-year-old ordained elder at a megachurch in San Diego, California, has been arrested on suspicion of abuse and murder in the death of her 11-year-old daughter, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

The female pastor was arrested along with her parents following the death of 11-year-old Arabella McCormack. Leticia McCormack, 49, her father Stanley Tom, 75, and her grandmother Adella Tom, 70, were charged with murder, torture, and willful cruelty to a child.

The sheriff’s department said the arrests came after a two-month investigation. They said they gather evidence methodically while protecting the children involved.

Deputies found Arabella McCormack at her home in Spring Valley, California, on August 30. The girl was covered in bruises and had suffered “severe levels of malnourishment.”

Arabella McCormack was one of three girls adopted by Leticia and Brian McCormack. The other two girls also showed signs of physical abuse, including broken teeth and bruising. They also had scabs on their body as well as broken teeth.

Arabella’s father and Leticia’s husband, Brian McCormack, took his life when investigators approached him near his home. This suicide occurred in front of the approaching officers according to reports.

Leticia McCormack served as an elder and ministry leadership coordinator at the Rock Church pastored by Miles McPherson. The Rock Church confirmed it is in the process of severing ties with Leticia and sent its deepest condolences to Arabella’s family and friends.

It was not immediately clear if Leticia and her parents have engaged legal representation to comment on their behalf.

Rock Church has had other incidents of child abuse involving its employees. A former teacher pleaded guilty to crimes associated with the alleged sexual abuse of a former student, and an anonymous plaintiff sued the church for damages.

John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.