Florida mom who forced her daughters to drink bleach blamed voodoo spell: police

A Florida mother who police say forced her children to drink bleach before eventually killing one said a voodoo spell forced her to do so.

Joanne Zephir, 36, of Poinciana, admitted to making her 3-year-old and 8-year-old daughters drink bleach and said she then planned to kill herself.

His 3-year-old son had also been strangled, police say.

Osceola County Sheriff Marcos R. Lopez during a news conference on the case on May 12, 2022.

Authorities say they found Zephir and her daughters outside a church on May 8.

Zephir had passed out behind the wheel of a car with her unconscious 3-year-old daughter in the back seat.

Zephir’s other daughter was found in the parking lot near the church entrance.

All three were rushed to a nearby hospital, where the youngest daughter was pronounced dead.

The eldest daughter was given to other family members.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office took Zephir into custody on an outstanding warrant for his arrest in Orange County for attempted murder and aggravated assault.

Joanne Zephir arrested after the death of her daughter
Joanne Zephir, 36, allegedly blamed a voodoo spell for forcing her children to drink bleach, causing the death of her 3-year-old daughter and injuring her 8-year-old daughter, in Poinciana, Florida, on May 8, 2019. 2022.
Osceola/Zenger County Sheriff’s Office

He is believed to have previously admitted his guilt in the alleged crime in Orange County to a relative.

Zephir is said to have planned to turn himself in to authorities per the court order, but said he wanted to spend time with his children beforehand.

The sheriff’s department said she called the same relative hours later and admitted to killing her youngest daughter.

Osceola County Sheriff Marcos R. Lopez said he had told them “the 8-year-old girl was also going to die and then kill herself.”

When questioned, Zephir is said to have told officers that she forced her children to drink bleach before suffocating the smaller girl.

According to Lopez: “The reason for doing this to her children was because the victim in Orange County must have put a voodoo spell on her, causing her to hurt her children.”

The suspect is currently in custody at the Osceola County Jail and is charged with one count of attempted murder and one count of aggravated child abuse.

The first charge may amount to murder pending autopsy results.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday: “Death investigation.

“On May 8, 2022, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a suspicious incident just after midnight. Deputies responded to 4912 Old Pleasant Hill Road in the Poinciana area. Deputies located three people in the place.

“All three people were transported to a local hospital. Once at the hospital, one of the three people was pronounced deceased.

“The investigation is ongoing and it is an isolated incident and there is no threat or danger to the public.

“The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to serving our community and increasing public safety. Anyone with information regarding this case or any similar incidents, please contact the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at (407 ) 348-2222”.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.

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