Authorities have arrested a Florida mother after forcing her daughters to drink bleach and choking the youngest one to death, while claiming she was under a voodoo spell.
The Florida mother, identified as Joanne Zephir, was found unconscious in her car outside Poinciana church. According to KATV, authorities say Zephir’s daughters were found in different locations– her 3-year-old was found unresponsive in the backseat, while her 8-year-old was located near the church entrance, reports Complex.
The 36-year-old and her daughters were immediately rushed to the hospital, tragically they were a little too late as the youngest was pronounced dead. Her eldest daughter has been released to other relatives.
Before the unfortunate tragedy on Sunday, Zephir planned to turn herself in to authorities following an arrest warrant. Allegedly, the mother of two told a family member she wanted to spend time with her daughters before she surrendered. Zephir had an outstanding arrest warrant out of Orange County, Florida, for attempted murder and aggravated battery.
Osceola County Sheriff Marcos R. Lopez reportedly told reporters that Zephir called the relative several times, telling the relative that she forced her daughters to drink bleach and admitting to choking the youngest one to death. Zephir allegedly said, “the 8-year-old was also going to die, and then she would kill herself.
During questioning, Zephir blames a voodoo spell for her actions.
“The reason for doing this to her children was because the victim in Orange County must have put a voodoo spell on her, making her harm her children,” Lopez said during a press conference.
Zephir is in custody at the Osceola County Jail on attempted murder and aggravated child abuse charges while authorities wait for the medical examiner’s toxicology report. Before filing murder charges for the 3-year-old.