Two women charged for killing of 2 children in exorcism

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Germantown, MD, United States (4E) – Two women were charged with murder and attempted murder on Saturday for allegedly killing two children and injuring two more during an exorcism rite at a home in Germantown.

Montgomery County police arrested and charged Monifa Denise Sanford, 21, of Germantown, after she was released from a hospital, where she was treated for injury suffered during a violent incident inside a home in the 19000 block of Cherry Bend Drive on Friday.

Earlier, Zakieya Latrice Avery, 28, of Germantown, was charged with the same crimes. She is the mother of the four victims. Police believe Avery and Sanford stabbed dead Norell Harris, 1, and his sister, Zyana Harris, 2. Both were found dead inside the home on Friday.

Avery’s other children, Taniya Harris, 5, and Martello Harris, 8, were also found injured inside the home and were taken to a hospital, where they are undergoing treatment.

The two women are being held without bond.

Neighbors called 911 on Thursday to report suspicious activity at the home after they saw outside an unattended kid inside a car with a door open, a knife next to it and blood trail. When police arrived, the child was gone. They tried to speak with residents of the home but did not get a response so they charged the front door. The two women reportedly tried to escape through a back door but they were caught.

The women told investigators they were performing exorcism on the children. The investigation of the motive for the killing continues.

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