pedestrian dies upper west side Credit: Metro File Photo

Two women in Maryland were charged with stabbing and killing two children during what they believed to be an exorcism, reports ABC News.

Montgomery County Police charged Monifa Denise Sanford, 21, and the mother of the children, Zakieya Latrice Avery, 28, with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first degree murder. The two told police they believed they were performing an exorcism on the children.

A Germantown neighbor called 911 on Thursday night, saying a child was sitting unattended in a car outside the home. When police arrived, the two women left the home, retrieved the child and went back inside. Police arranged for child protective services to visit the home, but the next morning, another neighbor dialed 911 to report blood on the outside of a car and a knife lying beside it.


Officers arrived on scene about 9:30 a.m. Friday to find a "very bloody" crime scene. Norell Harris, 1, and Zyana Harris, 2, were found dead of multiple stab wounds. Sanford and Avery's two other children, Taniya Harris, 5, and Martello Harris, 8, also sustained injuries and were taken to the hospital. The children remain hospitalized, while Sanford was arrested on Sunday after she was released.

Avery was not hurt and tried to flee the scene. She was being held without bond, according to ABC. Police believe Sanford lived at Avery's home with the family.

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