Exorcism caused death of two toddlers, claims their mother Zakieya Latrice Avery, who stabbed each child several times. On Friday Avery and another woman, Monifa Denise Sanford, murdered 1-year-old Norell Harris and 2-year-old Zyana Harris. Their two older siblings, 5-year-old Taniya Harris and 8-year-old Martello Harris were severely wounded and taken to hospital when Police entered the home Saturday morning. Avery is the mother of all 4 children, Sanford is believed to live in the residence but the nature of the Womens relationship is not currently known. Both Women have been charged with 2 counts of first-degree murder and 2 counts of attempted first-degree murder and are in currently in custody undergoing questioning. Police were called to the Germantown home on Cherry Bend drive Friday evening after reports of a child left in a car unattended. Before they could arrive on the scene the child had been taken inside. On Saturday morning Police received a call saying a knife had been seen laying in the homes driveway beside a car with an open door.
Police had been keeping an eye on the Maryland home after Friday nights strange call. When responding to the knife that was reported on Saturday morning, Police entered the home to find a truly gruesome scene. The two toddlers Norell and Zyana were found dead of multiple stab wounds each, their older siblings Taniya and Martello were severely injured and rushed to hospital. Avery and Sanford were both found in the home with clear connection to the slayings. Both women attempted to escape out of the town homes back door, but were unsuccessful. Avery was immediately detained and arrested and Sanford was tackled after a short sprint and arrested once released from the hospital. Police have not discussed why the women claim an exorcism caused death of two toddlers. It is believed that the crime scene holds many details that have not been shared with the media, possibly due to their disturbing nature.
Neighbors were shocked to hear the story, saying that Avery had of course seemed like a happy single mother. Sanford is believed to have been living in the home with Avery and her 4 children, it is not known how she was involved in the so-called exorcism that caused the death of two toddlers. Taniya and Martello remained hospitalized Saturday night with multiple severe stab wounds, but are said to be recovering. The childrens Father has either not made a statement or has not been located. After the initial shock of the hearing the news of an exorcism taking place on their street, neighbors held a vigil Saturday night for the slain children, and sent their sincere thanks to EMTs, 911 responders, and Police officers that were dropped in to the awful scene. Avery and Sanford are being held without bond as Police interview them and try to determine a motive for the murders. Whether it turns out to be a delusion or a break down, Cherry Bend drive will never be the same after this real life horror story.
By Daniel O’Brien