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Sheriff: Mother blames ‘voodoo spell’ for forcing her kids to drink bleach, 3-year-old’s death

Joanne Zephir is accused of making her two children drink bleach, killing her 3-year-old,...
Joanne Zephir is accused of making her two children drink bleach, killing her 3-year-old, according to the Osceola County Sheriff's Office.(Osceola County Sheriff's Office)
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 6:33 PM PDT
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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. (Gray News) - Authorities in Florida report a mother is expected to be charged with attempted murder and aggravated child abuse in a recent incident involving her two children.

Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez said his team is investigating Joanne Zephir after receiving a call about a possible homicide on May 8. Arriving deputies found Zephir unconscious in her car with her 3-year-old also unconscious and her other child, 8, outside of the vehicle. All three of them were then taken to the hospital.

When questioning Zephir about what happened, authorities said she told them she made her children drink bleach from a makeshift glass and admitted to choking the 3-year-old.

Zephir also told authorities that someone must have put a voodoo spell on her, making her harm her children, according to Lopez.

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Before this incident, the sheriff’s office said Zephir told a family that she was going to turn herself in on an outstanding warrant but wanted to see her kids one more time.

Authorities said they interviewed the family member who confirmed the details and that Zephir told this person that her child was going to die and that afterward, she would kill herself.

The Osceola County sheriff said Zephir’s 3-year-old child died at the hospital, but her 8-year-old child survived the incident.

Lopez also said his team is planning to charge Zephir with attempted murder and aggravated child abuse but is currently waiting on the medical examiner’s office findings.

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