Two young Maryland children are dead from stab wounds they suffered during a Friday exorcism, authorities say.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Montgomery County police have arrested the children’s mother Zakieya Latrice Avery, 28, and Monifa Denise Sanford, 21, and are holding them without bond. Both are charged with first degree murder and attempted murder.
The Friday incident left Norell N. Harris, 1, and Zyana Z. Harris, 2, dead and hospitalized Taniya Harris, 5, and Martello Harris, 8, according to WRC-TV.
“Cases like this are heartbreaking,” county police chief Tom Manger said in a statement, according to the Baltimore Sun. “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.”
Investigators say Avery and Sanford believed they were performing an exorcism.
“This was all about what was in their minds,” Capt. Marcus Jones, commander of the county’s major crimes unit, reportedly said. “They felt like there was something bad going on with the children, and they were trying to release it.”
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