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Because ‘demons told her to do it’, mother allegedly ‘sacrifices’ son by suffocating him with a pillow

IRVING – An Irving mother, identified as Tisha Sanchez, 30, is behind bars following accusations that she suffocated her 8-year-old son to death with a pillow because demons told her to, according to an arrest affidavit.


The affidavit stated that on Sunday at approximately 7:30 a.m., Sanchez’s sister called 9-1-1 and told police that Sanchez had contacted her asking for forgiveness because demons told her to sacrifice her 8-year-old son, Joevani De La Pena.

After Sanchez’s sister traveled to the suspect’s home on Peach Tree Lane, she found her nephew unconscious inside an RV that was in the backyard, said the arrest affidavit.


Irving Police Officer Robert Reeves added, “There were some comments made that the mother was having thoughts in her head that was telling her to do something.”

In the months prior to the alleged murder, police reported that they had been called to a Ross clothing store in November where witnesses described that Sanchez was pulling on her child’s arm. Upon confrontation with Sanchez, she allegedly assaulted a peace officer and resisted arrest, which led to criminal charges.

Police added that during this incident, they were concerned about her mental state.


“The officers felt that the best course of action was to do a mental health warrant and take her to Parkland that day,” added Reeves.

After the Ross incident, Child Protective Services were called to open a case against Sanchez but it was closed in January, citing that the mother had plenty of family support and no abuse claims had been made.

Joevani De La Pena was a student at Irving ISD. The school district issued a statement saying, “Our thoughts are with the family of an Irving ISD student who passed away this weekend. This is a tragic loss for our district and our community. We are grieving for the loss of a young life, and we pray for the family and friends most affected by this loss. Our entire district extends heartfelt condolences to the family at this difficult time.”

Sanchez is currently being held in the Irving City Jail on a $2 million bond. She faces a capital murder charge, along with her previous charges of assault on a peace officer and resisting arrest.

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