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Police: Md. mother killed children in 'exorcism', 911 tapes released


January 20, 2014
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Police: Md. mother killed children in 'exorcism', 911 tapes released

Police charged Monifa Sanford and Zakieya Latrice Avery with killing two of Avery's children

Associated Press

GERMANTOWN, Md. — Montgomery County Police have released 911 calls related to the deaths of two children in Maryland, deaths police attributed to two women who believed they were performing an exorcism.

The release of the recordings Monday comes two days after police charged Monifa Sanford and Zakieya Latrice Avery with killing two of Avery's children, ages 1 and 2. The women are also facing attempted-murder charges for injuring the children's siblings, ages 5 and 8.

Police had said previously that they were called Thursday to the Germantown home where the women lived after a 911 caller reported a child unattended in a vehicle. By the time the police arrived, the child was no longer in the car and no one answered the door at a nearby home. Police returned Friday when a neighbor called 911 after noticing a car with the door open and a knife that appeared to have blood on it. That's when the children were found dead inside a nearby home. Police said they suffered multiple stab wounds.

In a 911 phone call from Thursday about 10:15 p.m., a male caller reports a baby being left unattended in a blue Toyota Corolla. While the man is talking to the operator, he reports that two women have come out for the child and are "attacking" the caller and walking after him. He can be heard telling someone, "You need to back up off me, ma'am" and "A baby in the car for an hour is my business." He later tells the 911 operator that one of the women is talking to herself.

In a 911 call from 9:30 a.m. Friday a female caller reports seeing a blue Toyota with a door open and a knife with blood on it.

"I heard loud noises in the night," says the woman, a neighbor.

She adds that she heard what sounded like "jumping" and "running" but didn't think anything of it because there were four children living in the home.

Avery, 28, told investigators that she thought an exorcism of her children was necessary to remove the presence of the devil and evil spirits, said Capt. Marcus Jones, director of the police department's major crimes division. Sanford, 21, made similar statements during questioning, police said.

Associated PressCopyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press





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