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Murder charges in D.C. body discovery

Jan. 10, 2008 at 12:25 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Law enforcement officials charged a 33-year-old woman with first-degree murder after the discovery of four decomposing bodies in her Washington, D.C., home.

U.S. Marshals conducting a routine search during an eviction uncovered the bodies of four young girls, 5, 6, 11 and 17, Wednesday in a Washington Highlands row house occupied by 33-year-old Banita Jacks, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

Jacks was scheduled to appear in D.C. Superior Court Thursday afternoon to face two formal homicide charges.

The searchers found a knife near the skeletal remains of the woman and officials said they saw no signs of forced entry to the home.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said the causes of death had not yet been determined and Mayor Adrian Fenty said city officials were working to uncover details of the relationship Jacks had with the children and police, schools and child protective services.

An anonymous police source told the Post that authorities believe one of the girls had not been seen in school in over a month.

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