SAN DIEGO — The adoptive mother and grandparents of an 11-year-old girl killed in Spring Valley were charged in connection to her death from suspected child abuse, prosecutors said.
Leticia McCormack, 49, Adella Tom, 70, and Stanley Tom, 75, were arrested Monday and arraigned Wednesday in San Diego Superior Court, San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan stated in a news release Wednesday.
McCormack was an ordained elder at the Rock Church, a volunteer role. Her ordination at the Rock was suspended and is in the process of being revoked, the church said in a statement emailed to FOX 5.
On Aug. 30, deputies responded to a call of a child in distress in the 3300 block of Lakeview Drive in Spring Valley, where they found 11-year-old Arabella McCormack who was rushed to a hospital for medical attention, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. The victim later died at the hospital after her health continued to decline.
During the investigation that day, the child’s adoptive father, Brian McCormack, was contacted near the family’s home, authorities said. He killed himself in their presence.
Brian McCormack worked for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Leticia McCormack, the girl’s adoptive mother, and Stanley Tom, the girl’s adoptive grandfather, face murder charges, three felony counts of torture and three felony counts of child abuse, per attorney officials. Adella Tom, the girl’s adoptive grandmother, has been charged with three felony counts of torture and three felony counts of child abuse.
The biological mother of Arabella McCormack, Torriana Florey, told FOX 5 she wishes prosecutors would push for the death penalty in the murder trial against Arabella’s adoptive family. Florey is fighting to get custody of two of her other children adopted by the McCormack family, who are currently living with a foster family, according to the Sheriff’s department.
“Our office has a specialized division that prosecutes crimes against children,” Stephan said. “We are dedicated to fighting for justice for innocent children, including those who cannot speak for themselves.”
Their next hearing is set for Nov. 16 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 2 and a preliminary hearing scheduled for Nov. 28 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 2 in East County.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Unit at 858-285-6330. After hours, call the Sheriff’s non-emergency line at 858-565-5200. Remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.