A mother in the US state of Maryland allegedly stabbed two of her children to death — all in the name of exorcism to remove the presence of the devil.
Zakieya Latrice Avery, 28, has been charged with first-degree murder of two children aged one and two, reported US daily Newsday.
Montgomery County police went to Avery’s home on Friday after a neighbour’s 911 call.
When officers arrived, they found the two dead children and two other siblings, aged five and eight, with stab wounds.
Captain Marcus Jones, director of the county police department’s major crimes division, said: “She thought the devil was in the kids.”
Another woman, Monifa Denise Sanford, 21, has also been charged in the killings.
The two women had been living together in recent months and she made similar statements during questioning, the police said.
Sanford was arrested on Saturday.
Avery’s step-grandmother, Ms Sylvia Wade, told The Washington Post that Avery was “humble and meek”, adding that she loved her children.
“I don’t know what triggered it. She wasn’t herself. When people are not themselves, they’re not responsible for what they do; they’re in another zone,” Ms Wade said.
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