Florida mother who forced daughters to drink bleach blamed voodoo spells: police

A Florida mother who police say forced her children to drink bleach before eventually killing one said she was tricked into doing so by a voodoo spell.

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

Her 3-year-old had also been strangled, according to police.

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

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

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

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

All three were taken to a nearby hospital, where the younger daughter was pronounced dead.

The older daughter was given to other family members.

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

Joanne Zephir is arrested after her daughter dies
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 on May 8, 2022 in Poinciana, Florida .
Osceola County/Zenger Sheriff’s Office

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

Zephir is said to have planned to turn himself in to authorities over the warrant, but said she wanted to spend time with her children beforehand.

The sheriff’s department said they called the same relative hours later and admitted they killed their younger daughter.

Osceola County Sheriff Marcos R. Lopez said she told them “that the 8-year-old was going to die too, and then she would kill herself.”

When questioned, Zephir reportedly told officers she forced her children to drink bleach before choking the younger girl.

According to Lopez, “The reason she did this to her children was because the Orange County victim must have cast a voodoo spell on her, causing her to harm her children.”

The suspect is currently being held in the Osceola County Jail on charges of attempted murder and aggravated child molestation.

The first charge may be upgraded to murder pending the results of the post-mortem.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday, “Death investigations.

“On May 8, 2022, shortly after midnight, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a suspicious incident. The deputies responded at 4912 Old Pleasant Hill Road in the Poinciana area. The deputies located three people at the site.

“All three people were taken to a local hospital. Arrived at the hospital, one of the three people was declared deceased.

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

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

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.

https://www.newsweek.com/florida-mom-who-forced-daughters-drink-bleach-blamed-voodoo-spell-police-1706504 Florida mother who forced daughters to drink bleach blamed voodoo spells: police

Rick Schindler

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