Friday 13 January 2017

Retired Marine Mom Kills Daughter in Murder-Suicide While the Girl Was Visiting for the Holidays

A retired Marine killed her young daughter and then herself Monday night in Florida in an apparent murder-suicide hours before the girl was scheduled to fly home to her father, says police.

Ericka Joseph, 46, was found dead with her 9-year-old daughter, Akili Joseph, in Joseph’s home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Tuesday morning, a police spokeswoman says.

According to authorities, Joseph was divorced from Akili’s father, and though they shared custody of the child, Akili spent the majority of her time with her dad in Bogota, Colombia. She was visiting Florida for the holidays, police said. She was scheduled Tuesday morning to fly back to South America with her father, also a retired Marine.

He was on his way to pick up his daughter before he learned she was dead, the Sun Sentinel reports.

“He was here to pick [Akili] up,” Joseph’s brother, Tony Williams, told the paper. “The pickup routine was uncharacteristic — that’s how we came about to learn [of their deaths].”

While detectives are still working to determine a motive in the deaths, Joseph’s relatives and neighbors have spoken about her increasingly strange behavior. (Neither her family members nor Akili’s father could immediately be reached.)

Williams told NBC Miami he thought Joseph had had trouble transitioning back to civilian life.

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“We recently started noticing minor changes, but not to a significant point that it would distress [us], that it would be something of this nature, to take a life,” Williams told the station.

Neighbors told WSVN that they noticed Joseph closing the hurricane shutters on the windows of her home the night of her death.

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