11-year-old's 'exorcism' leads to mother's arrest for attempted murder

Photo Credit: Humboldt County Sheriff's Department

A Northern California woman is in jail after biting, choking and beating her 11-year-old child in an attempt to perform an exorcism on the child. 

Kimberly Felder, a 45-year-old resident of Ferndale, California was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, felony child abuse, and aggravated mayhem according to a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department.

According to police, Felder was attempting to perform an exorcism on her 11-year-old by stripping the child naked, and shoving handfuls of sand into the child's eyes and mouth. According to reports, the mother stated she was trying to "remove the Demons" from the child. 

As the exorcism continued, the girl was struck, bit and choked multiple times by her mother.

Officials credit a Good Samaritian who apparently intervened in the exorcism. They say the man wrestled Felder to the ground while she was pounding her daughter in the head with a piece of driftwood. Police arrived a short time later, handcuffing Felder. The child was taken to a local hospital for treatment of her injuries - which included severe damage to one ear. 

“If it were not for the intervention and heroic actions of John Marciel, it is very likely that the child would have been killed by Felder,” the sheriff’s office said in the press release. Police say they'll request that Marciel be recognized for his heroism with the Red Cross Life Saving Award. 

Felder is being held at the Humboldt County Correction Facility in Eureka. 

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445- 7251 or the Crime Tip line at 707-268- 2539.

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