Dad gets custody of son who lived in home where toddler died

Five kids ages 1 to 13 are now in foster care after CPS removed them from the home where a 2-year-old boy died of starvation death after a religious ritual.

A sixth child was also living at the Balch Springs home with his mother, whom police say was a member of the small controversial church that the house also served as.

The boy's dad took his ex-wife to court to make sure his son was safe from the "demon" rituals police say led to the toddler's death.

A family court judge asked Jorge Luna not to go on camera, but he tells FOX 4 that his suspicions about his ex-wife's involvement with the church and his concerns for his son being there part-time have been around for a long time.

He says based on their lifestyle and how church members maintained their church that they aren't straight shooters, and he believes each should be investigated.

Luna says CPS gave him temporary sole custody of his 12-year-old son on March 26 -- the day 49-year-old Araceli Meza was arrested at a Balch Springs home following the death of the 2-year-old boy days earlier.

Police documents show Meza had members of her church at that home, including her husband, the pastor, convinced that she was a prophet receiving orders from God.

Meza believed the boy was possessed and decided the toddler couldn't eat food for up to 25 days. He was only given water several times a day.

Witnesses watched the 2-year-old become what they describe weak as a "ragdoll." The witnesses said they were scolded when they tried to give him food.

The arrest affidavit says after the boy died, a ceremony was held in the living room to bring him back to life with prayer.

When that didn't work, police say Meza told the child's parents God told her they had to take him to Mexico.

Police haven't seen a body yet.

Luna's ex-wife, Nazareth Zurita, had joint-custody of their son, who lived at the home with Zurita, the church's secretary and third-ranking officer.

Zurita told investigators "an exorcism was performed on her" and "Although she was demon possessed, she screamed the victim was dead."

According to CPS, the incident led to five kids, ages 1 to 13, being taken out of the home and put into foster care.

And after fearing for his son's safety, Luna says CPS gave him temporary sole custody of their 12-year-old son.

At a hearing Wednesday afternoon, his ex-wife told the judge she's now living with her parents and trying to get her life back together by undergoing recovery therapy and psychological therapy after living in the Balch Springs home for five years.

Zurita claims she stayed there against her will as a victim of human trafficking.

Luna tells FOX 4 that although he thinks his ex is just making that up, he agrees to allowing Zurita to see her son again with the boy's grandparents supervising the visits.

If the boy's body is found in Mexico, authorities there say they'll fulfill any international obligations to help both Balch Springs police and CPS, who who have a joint investigation into the case.

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