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Maryland woman arrested for stabbing two toddlers to death during exorcism

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A Maryland woman was arrested for the murder of two toddlers yesterday. According to police, the woman allegedly stabbed her two children to death during an exorcism, CNN reported today.

Montgomery County Police responded to call late Thursday night in Germantown, Maryland of a child being left unattended in a parked vehicle. When police arrived at the scene, the child had already been taken inside. Officers questioned 28-year-old Zakieya Latrice Avery and 21-year-old Monifa Denise Sanford and referred the case to a child protection agency. On Friday morning, police were dispatched to the home again and found a very bloody crime scene with two children stabbed to death.

Avery was arrested for the deaths of her two young children, 1-year-old Norell Harris, and 2-year-old Zyana Harris. Her two other children, a 5-year-old and an 8-year-old were also found injured with stab wounds. Avery claims that she thought her kids were possessed by demons and that they needed to be exorcised.

"She thought the devil was in the kids, and that's sort of the thing she centered it around as to why she had to conduct an exorcism," Captain Marcus Jones, director of the police department's major crimes division said. "She just thought that there were evil spirits within the kids."

Avery and Sanford were both charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder and are being held at the Montgomery County Jail with no bond.

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