A 49-year-old Oklahoma woman was charged with first-degree murder Monday in the killing of her 33-year-old daughter in a horrifying manner: by beating the young woman before forcing down her throat a crucifix and a religious medallion, a crime to which police say she confessed.
Oklahoma City Police arrested Juanita Gomez on Saturday after Geneva Gomez’s ex-boyfriend, Francisco Merlos, found her body.
Geneva Gomez had broken up with Merlos on Thursday. According to Merlos, Geneva’s mother accused the young man of theft and persuaded her daughter to end the relationship, the Oklahoman reported.
Merlos, though, was determined to win her back. On Saturday, he drove to Geneva’s house to plead his case.
To his surprise, Juanita answered the door, grabbed him by the shirt and pulled him into the home.
He decided to use the opportunity to bond with the woman he blamed for his and Geneva’s breakup.
“I hugged her and said I was sorry for what happened on Thursday,” Merlos told the newspaper.
After doing so, he began wondering where Geneva was. Sure, the two were on the rocks, but it struck him as odd that she hadn’t come to say hello or even just to tell him to get out.
“I was like ‘where’s my girl,’ and she said ‘she’s in the room.’ Usually, my girl is real happy. She’d say ‘I’ll be right out, baby,’ or something like that. But, it was just the TV going on, there was no sound or anything,” Merlos said.
Horror overcame him when he finally saw Geneva.
“And then I looked, and she was laying on her back with the cross on her chest, and you couldn’t even recognize her face,” he said.
He tried to run.
“I just pushed her to the side, open the door, and she tries to get me in a choke-hold,” he said of Geneva’s mother.
Merlos added that Juanita was shouting incoherently about “the devil” and “money.”
He called the police, who quickly arrived at the house.
Inside, they found the body of 33-year-old Geneva splayed on the floor, arms extended to her sides and legs straight, like Jesus on the cross. On her chest rested a large crucifix.
“Blood was visible, and she had suffered severe trauma around her head and face,” according to court documents obtained by KFOR.
When police questioned Geneva’s mother, she told them that her daughter was possessed by Satan.
Juanita’s hands were swollen and covered in bruises. When police asked about them, she said she received them when her daughter was fighting against her attempts to “rid Satan from her body.”
“Juanita stated she punched her daughter repeatedly and forced a crucifix and religious medallion down her throat until blood came out of her daughter’s mouth,” according to court documents filed Monday, the Oklahoman reported. “Juanita saw her daughter die and then placed the body in the shape of a cross.”
After that, the documents state that Juanita washed her daughter.
According to Merlos, the mother and daughter were extremely close.
“They do their nails, they do their hair, everything [together],” Merlos told the newspaper.
Local rap musician Jabee Williams agreed, telling the paper that he would often see the two together in the audience at his shows.
Juanita attended her arraignment Monday via video conference. When given the chance to speak, she never mentioned her recently deceased daughter. Instead, she spent most of the short arraignment complaining about the lack of toilet paper.
“They won’t even give me toilet paper,” she said, according to a video taken by KWTV. “And I had to use that plastic from what the food they give me, to use the restroom.”
When asked whether she required a public defender, she claimed she didn’t need one because she already had an attorney named Blaine. She didn’t mention a last name but said he works at Lopez Law Services.
“Yes, sir, he believes in God like me,” she said. “Yes, he’s the best in town. … I got cash money to pay him.”
According to Reuters, though, no lawyer was listed for Gomez.
As the arraignment ended, she said, “Thank you very much. Namaste. You believe in God? I do.”
She is being held in jail without bond, KWTV reported. It’s not clear whether she has entered a plea.