Police Charge Second Woman in Germantown Murders

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Monifa Sanford
Photo | Montgomery County Police Department

Montgomery County police have charged a second woman with murder in the deaths of two children in Germantown and they have released more information about the motive.

On Jan. 18, detectives arrested Monifa Denise Sanford, age 21, of the 19000 block of Cherry Bend Drive in Germantown after she was released from the hospital.

Police have charged Sanford with two counts of first degree murder and two counts of attempted first degree murder. She is being held without bond.

The Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled today that both Norell Harris, age 1, and Zyana Harris, age 2, suffered multiple stab wounds and both deaths have been classified as homicide. Taniya Harris, age 5, and Martello Harris, age 8, remain hospitalized.

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Zakieya Latrice Avery
Photo | Montgomery County Police Department

On Jan. 17, police charged the 28-year-old mother of the children with murder in the deaths of her two children. Zakieya Latrice Avery is charged with two counts of first degree murder and two counts of attempted first degree murder. She is being held without bond.

According to police, 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.

For more coverage of this story see our earlier post for photos and videos: http://www.mymcmedia.org/suspicious-deaths-in-germantown/

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