Arizona Man Allegedly Kills 6-Year-Old Son in Exorcism

An Arizona man is accused of murder after killing his 6-year-old child during an attempted exorcism.

FOX10 Phoenix reported that Pablo Martinez, 31, told federal investigators that he poured hot water down the boy's throat from the bath faucet on September 26 and held him underwater for five to 10 minutes.

A criminal complaint filed by the FBI's Phoenix office says he Martinez was trying to "cast the demon out." The child's adoptive mother, Romelia Martinez, reported the incident when Pablo Martinez was giving the boy a bath, CNN reported.

Pablo Martinez told investigators that the boy had a "fit of unnatural rage" during the bath and he held his head under the faucet as a result, believing the hot water was casting out a demon. Romelia Martinez told him to stop when she heard noises coming from the bathroom and saw what was happening, but Pablo Martinez told her he "had to do it," according to the complaint.

Romelia Martinez reportedly first called a pastor, who did not answer the phone, and then called the police while Pablo Martinez performed CPR on the boy and poured cold water on him.

Church on Indian Reservation
Mission San Xavier Del Bac on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation near Tucson, Arizona Robert Alexander/Getty

The boy was found propped up on a pillow, naked and not breathing when authorities arrived. Pablo and Romelia Martinez were standing outside the home; when asked what happened, Romelia told authorities, "[Pablo] can tell you what happened."

Pablo Martinez told police when they arrived that they were "not in the right mindset" to understand what happened. As the police continued to ask questions, though, he put his hands in the air and "said something to the effect of, 'I did it.'"

The boy was taken to Banner-University Medical Center with burns over 15 percent of his body, including his head, elbows and forearms. He was pronounced dead shortly after. reported that Pablo Martinez told investigators that he had noticed a demon in the boy the previous week, and Romelia Martinez also told investigators that he had been "acting demonic."

A statement from the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, to which the boy's adoptive mother belongs, said that a joint investigation between the FBI and the Pascua Yaqui Police Department was ongoing. Pablo Martinez does not belong to the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, although the incident happened on the Pascua Yaqui Indian Reservation near Tuscon.

Pablo Martinez was arrested on charges of first-degree murder. According to FOX10 Phoenix, it is not yet clear if Pablo Martinez has a lawyer.