Police on Saturday made a second arrest in the stabbing deaths Friday of two Maryland children. Officials also disclosed a motive: the alleged killers "believed they were performing an exorcism," according to investigators.
Monifa Denise Sanford, 21, was taken into custody Saturday afternoon after being released from the hospital. Sanford was apparently injured during the same incident that took the lives of Norell Harris, 1, and Zyana Harris, 2. The children’s mother, 28-year-old Zakieya Latrice Avery, was arrested Friday.
Officers with the Montgomery County Police Department around 9:30 a.m. found the siblings’ bodies inside a townhouse on the 19000 block of Cherry Bend Drive. One of Avery’s neighbors called 911 after noticing a vehicle with its door left open and a knife on the ground. The Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled Saturday both children were stabbed to death.
Two other children – Taniya Harris, 5, and Martello Harris, 8 – were found injured inside the home, as was Sanford. Both children remained hospitalized Saturday. Police said Avery, who was not injured, tried to run out a rear door but was quickly apprehended.