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Police: Exorcism blamed by mother who murdered two children, injured two others

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Police say that an exorcism lead to the murder of two young children in Germantown, Maryland. On Jan. 19, MSN reported that 28-year-old Zakieya Latrice Avery killed her two kids, ages 1 and 2, while trying to rid them of evil spirits. Avery believed that the devil was inside of her children and she ended up stabbing them to death. She has been charged with two counts of murder in the first degree.

"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. She just thought that there were evil spirits within the kids," said Capt. Marcus Jones.

The police said the exorcism ritual that Avery believed was helping her kids actually killed them. Avery's two other children who are a little older (ages 5 and 8) were also injured with several stabbing wounds but both are expected to be okay.

Another woman who had been living with Avery was also arrested in connection with the murders. Monifa Denise Sanford, 21, also told police about the evil inside of the children and the need for the exorcism. The children's father had not been living with them and was reportedly separated from Avery -- but he is coming back into town to care for the two older kids.

More on the police investigation of the exorcism murder in the video above.

© Effie Orfanides 2014

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