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Police: Md. Mom charged with killing 2 children while performing exorcism

Zakieya Latice Avery and Monifa Denise Sanford have been charged with murder and attempted murder in the death of Avery's two young children. Police say the women believed they were performing an exorcism on the toddlers.
Montgomery County Police

A mother and another woman were charged on Jan. 18, 2014 in the deaths of two young children. Montgomery, Md. County Police say the women believed they were performing an exorcism on the toddlers, according to The Republic.

Monifa Denise Sanford, 21, and Zakieya Latrice Avery, 28, were each charged with two counts of First Degree Murder and two counts of Attempted First Degree Murder, according to MY Fox DC.

Fox reports that Avery’s two children – Norell Harris, 1, and Zyana Harris, 2 – suffered multiple stab wounds.

According to The Republic, the deceased children’s siblings were taken to a local hospital with injuries.

Police posit the two women believed they were performing an exorcism on the children.

Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger told Fox, “Cases like this are heartbreaking… Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims along with the 911 operators, police officers, evidence technicians, and fire and EMS personnel that responded.”

Authorities are asking anyone with further information about the case to call the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070.

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