Exorcism Gone Wrong: Mother and Accomplice Kill 2 Children, Wound 2

This afternoon, detectives arrested Monifa Denise Sanford, age 21, of the 19000 block of Cherry Bend Drive in Germantown after she was released from the hospital.

Sanford has been charged with two counts of First Degree Murder and two counts of Attempted First Degree Murder. She is being held without bond.

…Taniya Harris, age 5, and Martello Harris, age 8, remain hospitalized.

Investigators have learned that the two defendants believed that they were performing an exorcism.

Second Woman Charged with Murder of Two Children; Cause and Manner of Death Released. myMCPnews.com, 1/18/2014.

Police charged Zakieya Latrice Avery, 28, of Germantown, with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder. She is currently being held without bond.

The deceased children are identified as Norell N. Harris, 1, and Zyana Z. Harris, 2. The other two children are still hospitalized. They are identified as Taniya Harris, 5, and Martello Harris, 8.

Police were called to the 19000 block of Cherry Bend Drive Friday morning and discovered the victims. Avery attempted to run from officers, but was apprehended quickly.

…A neighbor called 911 on Friday saying he saw a blue car with its door open and the knife on the sidewalk outside the house. Police who responded to the scene saw a blue car with its door open. The keys were in the ignition and there was blood in the car.

Police also found a knife on the sidewalk outside. Police believe the red-handled knife may be one of the weapons used in the attack.

Officers had to force their way into the home and found the victims inside in a “very bloody” crime scene. The children were found in the bedrooms and may have been asleep at the time of the attack.

Mother Charged With Murder in Deaths of Children. NBC Washington, 1/19/2014.


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