A Massachusetts mother accused of stabbing her two young sons multiple times with a kitchen knife in their Brockton home in what she said was part of a "ritual" faced a judge on Tuesday.
Latarsha Sanders, 44, was ordered held without bail at her arraignment in Brockton District Court on two counts of murder in the deaths of her sons.
The bodies of her children, 8-year-old Edson and 5-year-old Lason Brito, were discovered in their beds in a third floor apartment on Prospect Street on Monday morning after authorities said Sanders asked a neighbor to call 911.
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Prosecutors said in court Tuesday that Edson had been stabbed at least 50 times.
When responding officers arrived at the scene, prosecutors said Sanders never mentioned her children, andthey checked the home after it was mentioned she had young children, which is when authorities made the gruesome and disturbing discovery.
Sanders initially denied any responsibility and blamed their father for the deaths, prosecutors said.
Neighbors told NBC10 Boston that Sanders was hysterical when she was taken away from the home in an ambulance. She was later arrested at the hospital by police.
Sanders allegedly told police that she only killed her 8-year-old, then ran away, only to later tell police she stabbed her 5-year-old son, indicating that it was part of a ritual that went wrong with the first child before stabbing her youngest child.
Sanders then cleaned up the children, placed them in separate beds and mopped up the blood.
According to a probable cause report, Sanders' mother claimed her daughter was obsessed with the Illuminati. She also said her daughter was unstable and spied on her neighbors using a baby monitor.
Authorities said they believe the children were dead inside the apartment for at least 48 hours before being found by officers.
"A terrible thing happened in this apartment, and we need to make sure we get to the bottom of it as best we can and as quickly as we can," Plymouth District Attorney Timothy Cruz said on Monday.
Prosecutors said the last person to see the children alive was their maternal grandmother.
Sanders, who had a public defender for her Tuesday arraignment, is due back in court on April 9. Her attorney did not comment on the specific accusations.
In a statement, Brockton Public Schools said they were "shocked and saddened at the tragic and senseless loss" of the two young boys, and that there were crisis teams working with students and staff at the affected school; however, the district did not release the names of the boys or of the affected school.