Osceola County

Sheriff: Mother admits to making both her children drink bleach, killing one

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — Osceola County deputies have released new details in the case of a mother and her two children found unconscious in a car near Poinciana on Mother’s Day.

On Tuesday, the Osceola County Sheriff said Joanne Zephir admitted to making both her children drink bleach and choking her three-year-old to death.

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Read: One child dies, another hospitalized after woman found unconscious in car in Poinciana, deputies say

According to deputies, on Mother’s Day Zephir called a family member to say she killed her 3-year-old child and that her 8-year-old was about to die.

Investigators were able to track Zephir’s phone to a park in the area of Old Pleasant Hill Road in the Poinciana area.

See map of location below:

When deputies arrived, they found Zephir unconscious inside the car with her 3-year-old child and the 8-year-old unconscious near the roadway.

All three were taken to a hospital, but the 3-year-old did not survive.

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Investigators said Zephir told them it was a voodoo spell that made her harm her children.

Zephir is currently in the Osceola County jail facing attempted murder and child abuse charges.

Read: Young child found inside Orange County apartment where couple died by murder-suicide

Deputies said she could face more serious charges once a toxicology report is finalized.


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Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.

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