A Florida mother of two told police that a "voodoo spell" compelled her to make her three-year-old and eight-year-old daughters drink bleach.
The woman, Joanne Zephir, 36, of Poinciana, admitted she made her children drink bleach and said she then planned to kill herself, according to a Newsweek report.
Zephir was found passed out in the driver's seat of a car outside of the Poinciana Pentecostal Church on May 8. The three-year-old was found unresponsive in the back seat and later was determined to have been strangled. The older sibling was found out on a road near the church. She now is in the custody of other family members.
Zephir was taken into custody by the Osceola County Sheriff's Office on an outstanding arrest warrant in Orange County for attempted murder and aggravated battery.
Newsweek says that Zephir allegedly blamed a voodoo spell for forcing her children to drink bleach, which likely contributed to the death of her 3-year-old daughter and injuring her 8-year-old. She is said to have admitted guilt to the alleged crime in Orange County to a relative.
Osceola County Sheriff Marcos R. Lopez said she had told them "the 8-year-old was also going to die, and then she would kill herself. When questioned, Zephir is said to have told officers she forced her children to drink bleach before choking the younger girl." According to Lopez: "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."
The woman currently is being held in the Osceola County jail.