Two women appeared in court today for the “exorcism deaths” of two children. The alleged exorcism took place in Germantown, Maryland, about 25 miles outside of Washington, D.C. and Zakieya Latrice Avery and Monifa Denise Sanford have been charged with first-degree murder after stabbing two of Avery’s children to death. The two women may also face attempted murder charges for the other two children who had been found injured in the home.
Avery, 28, and Sanford, 21 claim they were performing what they thought was an exorcism when they stabbed two of Avery’s children, ages one and two. Previous reports by The Inquisitr stated that two other children were found injured and had been taken to a local hospital for treatment. The report continued on to say that it was a neighbor who had called 911 to report suspicious activity.
“A neighbor called 911 after noticing a vehicle with the door open and a knife laying outside of the vehicle. [The mother] 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 [the other woman] were taken to the hospital with injuries.”
County police Chief Tom Manger said about the double murder: “Cases like this are heartbreaking. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims.” The Inquisitr stated that authorities didn’t say exactly what the exorcism entailed, but did confirm that “the two woman being charged believed they were carrying out a ritual ceremony to defeat evil spirits and demons. The report continued on to say:
“Investigators have learned that the two defendants believed that they were performing an exorcism. The investigation into this motive and other aspects of the crime continue at this point. Prior to officers arriving, two women exited the townhouse, retrieved the child and re-entered the home. Officers attempted to speak with the residents, but received no response at the door.”
Captain Marcus Jones of the county’s major crimes unit spoke to reporters about the exorcism deaths and said the following: “This was all about what was in their minds. They felt like there was something bad going on with the children, and they were trying to release it.”
ABC News reported that Avery and Sanford appeared before a Maryland judge today and were both denied bond, meaning they will both remain in custody at this time. According to the Boston Herald, an attorney for Sanford told reporters after the hearing that he is still gathering information about the case.