Zakieya Latrice Avery Allegedly Kills Two Of Her Children, Injures Others During Exorcism

| by Kathryn Schroeder

A 28-year-old mother from Maryland killed two of her children and severely injured two others.

The mother, Zakieya Latrice Avery, and Monifa Denise Sanford, 21, were attempting to perform an exorcism on the children.

When police arrived at the home the following morning they found a 1-year-old and 2-year-old dead due to multiple stab wounds. A 5-year-old and 8-year-old were injured, and are now receiving medical treatment, reports NY Daily News.

Zakieya Latrice Avery has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder by Montgomery County Police, CNN reports.

Monifa Denise Sanford, who is not a relative of the family but lived in the home, has also been charged with the two deaths.

Police found the children after a neighbor called 911 Friday morning to report seeing a car door open with a knife next to it.  

The evening prior, police were called to the house because a child was left unattended in a vehicle. When they arrived the child was being carried inside by the women, who refused to speak with police.  

Why the exorcism was being performed is unknown.

"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," police said.

Avery and Sanford are both being held without bond.