A Massachusetts mom is accused of killing her 3-year-old daughter by stuffing roses down her throat in an exorcism to remove the demons inside the girl, according to court documents.
Dora Alicia Tejada Pleitez, 26, was arrested Tuesday in connection with her daughter's death. She is being held without bail pending a mental competency hearing. She pleaded not guilty.
On Monday afternoon, Pleitez's brother discovered his sister holding her daughter Nicole's lifeless body.
Pleitez's brother, Amilcar Antonio Tejada, had returned home after his wife called to tell him that Pleitez was acting in a bizarre manner.
Tejada told police that when he arrived at the Nantucket home, his sister told him that "they need to pray and that their sister, Maria Elena, was also in the room," according to court documents.
Maria Elena had died several years ago. Pleitez told her brother that her daughter's face looked like the ghost of Maria Elena.
Pleitez previously told her brother that she'd been "given a gift by God that allowed her to see people that had passed away," according to court documents.
While being treated at the hospital for an injury to her hand sustained the day her daughter died, Pleitez told staff that she had stuck a rose down Nicole's throat because God had told her to, according to court documents.
On Tuesday, the same day she was arrested for her daughter's death, Pleitez told her priest that she was forcing a rose down Nicole's throat to ward off the devil when "she realized the rose was actually her fist and that 'the devil' bit her hand through Nicole," the documents read.
At the home, police found pink rose petals on the floor.
Pleitez told hospital staff that she had considered performing an exorcism on her son, Luis, too.
She "had thought about fighting the demons out of both children and that at one point had a child in each arm," the documents read.
When police arrived Monday at around 12:40 p.m., the little girl was rushed to Nantucket Cottage Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Pleitez told police through a Spanish interpreter that she was sitting on her couch with the little girl and her son, Luis. She said that the little girl had fallen asleep and that she too fell asleep, according to court documents.
Pleitez claimed that she and her daughter had both fallen off the couch while they were asleep and that she awoke to people asking what had happened to the girl, according to court documents.
Deonila Tema, Pleitez's sister-in-law, contradicted that claim, telling police that Pleitez, her daughter and son were awake on the couch the entire morning.
"Nicole was at one point calling for her father and at no point was she asleep," the court documents read.
Tema said that Pleitez repeatedly asked her to pray for mercy for her and her two children, according to court documents. When Tema became alarmed by Pleitez's repeated requests to pray, she waited outside of the home and called her husband, telling him to come home to check on his sister.
While being interviewed by police, Pleitez began "singing and praying," according to court documents. She said that she had recently returned from a religious retreat.
When in the interview room by herself prior to being questioned, police observed her holding her hands out to make a cross symbol, according to court documents.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.