Aarabella McCormack Bio – Aarabella McCormack Wiki
Aarabella McCormack, who died after suffering child abuse and malnourishment, weighed 48 pounds, court documents reveal.
Aarabella McCormack was 11 years old.
DETAIL OF INCIDENCE:
Aarabella McCormack of San Diego, California, died in August. She was initially fostered before being adopted by Brian and Leticia McCormack.
Her mother, Leticia, 49, and Aarabella’s maternal grandfather, Stanley Tom, 75, have been charged with murder. Leticia, Tom, and Aarabella’s maternal grandmother, Adella Tom, 70, have also been accused of child abuse and torture.
During a bail hearing for Leticia and Adella held at El Cajon Superior Court, Deputy District Attorney Meredith Pro said Aarabella’s “bones protruded from her skin” after being allegedly refused food and water from the defendants, per court documents obtained by The San Diego Union-Tribune. (Stanley was not a part of the hearing as he forfeited his rights to challenge a previous ruling that denied him bail.)
Aarabella’s two younger sisters were also malnourished, Pro said, alleging that all three girls were physically abused and hit with sticks and paddles, the publication reported.
Leticia and Brian McCormack, 19, were the three sisters’ foster parents beginning in 2017. They officially adopted them in 2019. Brian fatally shot himself while being approached by officers shortly after Aarabella’s death.
According to San Diego’s CBS 8, Pro said that if Brian had not died by suicide, “There would be a fourth defendant in this case.”
She said Leticia was the “ringleader” in abusing the girls. At the same time, Brian and her parents “all worked together to starve” the victims and “physically abused them with paddles and sticks,” CBS 8 reported. Pro said the girls couldn’t have friends over and were barred from using the bathroom.
Messages between her foster parents show that Brian believed Aarabella “was starving to death, and he believed she was going to die,” Pro added, per the CBS affiliate.
Besides allegedly suffering malnutrition, Aarabella was recovering from 15 bone fractures that Pro said occurred just months before she died.
The three defendants could face life terms if convicted, CBS 8 reported.
Gregory Garrison, defense attorney for Leticia, said she should be granted bail because she “has no prior arrests,” according to NBC San Diego. “No prior convictions, and there is no evidence – let me repeat it, there is no evidence to support an argument that she poses a danger to the public.”
Adella’s public defender Randy Wagner added of his client, per NBC San Diego, “She, I think more so, does not represent a danger to the community. She’s 70 years old. She’s frail. She hasn’t driven a car in three years.”
Judge Kathleen Lewis ultimately denied bail for Leticia and Adella, according to NBC San Diego.
Attorneys for Leticia and Adella did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
It’s unclear who represents Stanley and who can comment on his behalf.
Leticia was a leader at Rock Church in San Diego, the megachurch founded and led by former NFL player Miles McPherson. Her leadership profile has since been removed from the church’s website.
In a statement to NBC San Diego, the church confirmed it is in the process of severing ties with Leticia.
In late August, police responded to a child in distress call at a home in Spring Valley, where they found Aarabella, according to a statement given to PEOPLE by the San Diego Sheriff’s office.
The 11-year-old was rushed to a hospital, where she died. Aarabella was covered in bruises and had suffered “severe levels of malnourishment,” a police spokesperson told The San Diego Union-Tribune.