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Second Woman Charged with Murder of Two Children; Cause and Manner of Death Released

For Immediate Release: Saturday, January 18, 2014

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Detectives from the Montgomery County Police - Major Crimes Division have charged a second woman with murder in the deaths of two children in Germantown.  This afternoon, detectives arrested Monifa Denise Sanford, age 21, of the 19000 block of Cherry Bend Drive in Germantown after she was released from the hospital.

Sanford has been charged 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.

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 at this point and no further information will be released at this time.

A photo of Sanford is not available at this time.

Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070.


Updated 1/19/2014 1:20pm - photo of Sanford is displayed below.

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Release ID: 14-017
Media Contact: mcpnews 
Categories: press-releases