Homeless woman accused of replacing baby Jesus with pig's head in Nativity scene

PHOTO: WCVB.COM

A 54-year old woman was arrested for stealing a statue of baby Jesus, from a Nativity scene outside Sacred Hearts Church, and replacing it with a bloody pig's head in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

According to WCVB News, Amarellis Cermeno, a homeless woman, allegedly took the statue from Sacred Hearts Church on Christmas morning according to official's statement last Wednesday. Police says the woman has a "religious obsession."

"This crime is not a crime of hatred, but rather the act of an individual who appears to be mentally ill," Haverhill Police Department spokesman detective Lt. Robert Pistone said. "She has a severe preoccupation with religion."

Last month, Cermeno was also charged with defacing La Iglesia Biblica Bautista on Portland Street by writing "666" on its white doors. She was also seen thereafter walking and carrying a large metal crucifix, with which she apparently attempted to assault an approaching officer. The crucifix was also stolen from Sacred Hearts Church, according to CBS Boston.

Police suspects that Cermeno, who frequents garbage for food, must have found the pig's head  there.

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"We believe a pig's head may have been discarded by someone in our community who had cooked a pig on Christmas Eve," Pistone said.

WCVB reports that Cermeno is facing several charges of destruction of a place of worship under $5,000 in damage, malicious destruction of property over $250 and larceny over $250.

Cermeno is now in the custody of the Department of Mental Health for an evaluation, CBS Boston reports.

The mayor of Haverhill sympathises with the suspect and pointed the need to provide mental health help for the homeless in the community.

"I know this lady personally, as I've indicated to the press before. She's a frequenter of the mayor's office, and we hope she gets the help that she needs," he said, WCVB reports.

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