Maryland police state exorcism has been blamed for the death of two Maryland children. The children’s mother and her friend have been charged for killing the two toddlers on Friday morning. The women stated they thought they were carrying out an exorcism when the children were killed, according to police officials.
Zakieya Avery, mother of four and Monifa Sanford, believed to be Avery’s roommate, were both charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder and first-degree murder.
The toddlers, the youngest of the mother’s four children, were found covered in blood with multiple stab wounds. Two-year-old Zyana Harris and one-year-old Norell Harris were stabbed in their Maryland home, stated Montgomery County Police spokesman.
Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reported on Saturday that Zyana Harris and Norell Harris endured numerous stab wounds and classified both deaths as homicides.
The older children, eight-year-old Martello Harris and five-year-old Taniya Harris were wounded and taken to a nearby hospital. Sanford was also injured and taken to the hospital but was later released and arrested. Avery was not injured and was arrested on the scene when she attempted fleeing from officers.
Maryland police have stated exorcism is blamed for the deaths of the two children. No further explanation has been given behind the women’s motivation to stab the four children. The investigation into the women’s motives and other facets of the murders is ongoing.
Thursday night, officers responded to a 911 call from a neighbor reporting an unattended child left in a car, however the child was no longer in the car by the time officers arrived, stated Jim Daly, Montgomery County Police Captain, in a statement to ABC News.
It was believed the two women living there took the child back inside before the police arrived. Officers attempted to make contact, but no one would answer the door or let anyone into the house. Since no evidence existed to indicate a child was in danger, officers reported the incident to Child Protective Services, but social workers did not have an opportunity to visit the home before the murders occurred.
Police received an additional 911 call from a citizen in the Cherry Bend Dr. neighborhood on Friday morning. Blood was reported on the side of the vehicle where the unattended child had been seen along with a knife beside the outside of the car, convincing officers to enter the home. Officers used the keys found left inside the open car to let themselves into the home. When the officers entered a bedroom upstairs, Tom Manger, Chief of Police, described the scene they discovered as a bloody shambles.
Avery supposedly fled out the back door of the residence and was seized by police, stated authorities. Bond has been denied for both of the women.
Officers discovered two dead children upstairs of the home along with Sanford and the two injured children.
History is filled with stories of murders caused in the name of religion, which apparently continues today since Maryland police state exorcism is blamed for the death of two children.
By Deborah Baran