Published January 19, 2014
GERMANTOWN, Md. – Police in Maryland have charged two women with murder in the deaths of two children who were killed during an apparent exorcism attempt.
Montgomery County Police have charged 28-year-old Zakieya Latrice Avery and 21-year-old Monifa Denise Sanford with two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder in the deaths of two of Avery's children, 1-year-old Norell Harris, and 2-year-old Zyana Harris.
Avery's other two children, identified as 5-year-old Taniya Harris and 8-year-old Martello Harris, remained hospitalized Saturday. Their condition was not immediately known.
Police say the two younger children who died suffered multiple stab wounds, but did not reveal any more information about the exorcism attempt, citing the ongoing investigation.
Police were called to the home where the women lived on Friday. A neighbor called 911 after noticing a vehicle with the door open and a knife laying outside of the vehicle. Avery was arrested when authorities say she tried to flee from a townhouse near the vehicle. Police found the two children dead inside the home, and their siblings and Sanford were taken to the hospital with injuries.
Police say Sanford was arrested Saturday after being released from the hospital. Both woman are being held without bond.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.