A 3-year-old girl was stabbed to death and a 23-year-old neighbor wounded yesterday by a knife-wielding woman in front of their homes in the eastern Montgomery County community of Spencerville.

County police said the stabbing stemmed from a domestic dispute between the neighbor and a 31-year-old woman who was taken into custody near the scene following the incident and charged with murder.

The child, Jennifer Amber Seiberl of 15207 Peach Orchard Rd., was dead on arrival at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Balitmore at 2:30 p.m., about an hour after the stabbings.

The girl's neighbor, Sharon Chirichella of 15205 Peach Orchard Rd., was treated for a knife wound at Montgomery County General Hospital and was released.

Police, witnesses and neighbors gave the following account of the stabbings, which shocked the normally tranquil rural Spencerville community.

The incident occurred in a cul-di-sac at the end of a driveway about 75 yards off Peach Orchard Road, a single lane bordered by rolling farmland and dense trees. There are only two homes on the cul-de-sac and both are owned by Thomas Seibel, a long-time Spencerville farmer.

Shortly after 1 p.m., Jennifer Seibel ventured across the cul-de-sac to help Chirichella wash her car. Chirichella was staying at 15205 while Thomas Seibel and his wife, Jennifer's grandparents, vacation in Florida.

About 1:30 p.m., a woman approached the two in the driveway in front of 15205. An argument between the woman and Chirichella, which police said began last Monday, then resumed.

A scuffle ensued and Chirichella, who was inside the car at the time, was stabbed with a seven-inch-long butcher knife. Chirichella ran screaming across the cul-de-sac to get Jennifer's mother, Michelle Seibel, at 15207.

"I woke up hearing screaming, screaming," said neighbor Helen Hammann, who lives in a house closer to the road. "I though a dog had been hit in the street."

Jennifer Seibel, meanwhile, was fatally stabbed. According to police, the girl's mother looked outside her living room window and saw a woman with a knife and blood on her blouse running across adjacent fields.

The 31-year-old suspect, identified as Margaret Ann Adams of no fixed address, was arrested in the 2500 block of Seibel Drive a half mile away from the Seibel home. Police said she had been staying with Chirichella at 15205 Peach Orchard Rd. Investigators would not elaborate on the dispute which they said led to the stabbings.

Jennifer Seibel was taken to the Balitmore hospital by helicopter.

Neighbors described the Seibels as a close-knit family with deep roots in the Spencerville community. Walter Hammann, who purchased his home at 15201 Peach Orchard Road from Thomas Seibel -- the girl's grandfather -- said Seibel once owned hundreds of acres of farmland in and around Spencerville.

During the last decade Seibel has sold much of his land, and developments such as Peach Orchard Heights and Peach Orchard Estates have sprung up. The street where the suspect was arrested was named after the Seibel family.

Seibel's son, John Seibel the father of the 3-year-old girl -- is a Spenerville electrician.

Helen Hamann said of Jennifer: "She was always laughing. She'd ride her tricycle all through my backyard. When I saw her on the stretcher, I just couldn't stand it."