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Mother accused of killing children while performing exorcism

Updated: Sunday, January 19 2014, 09:50 PM CST
Posted by Don Yeager (

Some neighbors in a Maryland suburb are still in shock that someone could kill two toddlers. They are even more shocked that one of the people responsible, police say, is their mother.

The mother, Zakieya Avery, of Germantown is accused of stabbing to death her one year old son and two year old daughter.

Her two older children were also injured, but survived.

"I met the mother a couple of times. Seems like a typical lady with her kids. Nothing suspicious. Nothing to indicate something like this would have happened," said neighbor Vanessa Jones.

Investigators says Avery and another woman, 21-year-old Monifa Sanford believed they were performing an exorcism.

Sanford was also arrested on Saturday. Both women are facing two charges of murder and attempted murder.

Many neighbors now focusing their attention and their prayers on Avery's two surviving children, five-year-old Taniya and five-year-old Martello. Both are said to have serious injuries tonight, but improving.
Mother accused of killing children while performing exorcism

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