Florida mom allegedly forced 2 young daughters to drink bleach, killing 1 of them

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. (TCD) — A 36-year-old mother who was wanted for attempted murder in another county was arrested after she allegedly forced her two young daughters to drink bleach, killing one of them.

According to Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez, on May 8, deputies responded to 4912 Old Pleasant Hill Road for a report of a possible homicide and found Joanne Zephir unconscious in the driver’s seat of her car. Her 3-year-old daughter was also unconscious in her car seat, while the 8-year-old girl stood in the road near a church.

The three were transported to a nearby hospital, and the 3-year-old girl was pronounced deceased. The 8-year-old was medically cleared and released to another family member.

Zephir was then taken to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office on an outstanding warrant from Orange County for attempted murder and aggravated battery.

Lopez said she went to a family member’s house to confess about the Orange County incident. The sheriff did not go into detail about the attempted murder, but he said it was likely a stabbing. Zephir allegedly told the family member she wanted to turn herself in to police, but before that, she “wanted to have some time with her children.”

Later that day, Zephir reportedly called that same family member and “said she killed her 3-year-old and the 8-year-old was also going to die.” She also reportedly revealed she was going to kill herself and forced her daughters to drink bleach.

According to Lopez, Zephir allegedly told her relative she made the girls drink bleach “because the victim in Orange County must have put a voodoo spell on her.”

Zephir has been booked on charges of murder, attempted murder, and aggravated child abuse. She is being held without bond.

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