Army vet kills daughter, self rather than send girl back to father in Columbia

By FORREST HANSON FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

A mother and ex-Marine allegedly killed her nine-year-old daughter before taking her own life in an alleged murder-suicide in Florida.

Ericka Joseph and her daugher Akili were found at Joseph’s home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida around 5.30am yesterday.

Authorities confirmed they were treating the deaths as a murder-suicide.

The pair was found at Joseph's home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida around 5.30am this morning   Authorities confirmed they were treating the deaths as a murder-suicide

Authorities wheel the bodies of Ericka Joseph, 46, and her daughter Akili, 9, out of Joseph's Fort Lauderdale home

Akili was due to fly back to Bogota, Colombia with her father, Joseph’s ex-husband, who had custody of the girl.

He had been in Fort Lauderdale and had eaten dinner with Akili the night before, WSVN reported.

But when he came to pick her up the following morning to head back to Colombia, no one answered the door.

He then contacted a family member who then discovered the pair dead in a bedroom, CBS Local reported.

Joseph closed her home's hurricane shutters the night before the killings, neighbors said

Information later emerged that neighbors had seen Joseph close her home’s hurricane shutters late the night before despite no storm warning.

This would have muffled any unusual noises coming from the home.

Neighbors said they heard screaming and gunshots from the home earlier this morning, local10 reported.

Neighbors said they heard screaming and gunshots from the home earlier this morning. The bodies of Akili, left, and Ericka, right, were found around 5.30am this morning

Akili had eaten dinner with her father the night before and was due to fly back to Colombia with him

Family members couldn’t think of any warning signs following the deaths of Ericka Joseph, 46, and her daughter Akili.

Joseph’s brother Tony Williams said she seemed to be transitioning from her military life to civilian life well.

He told WSVN: ‘It’s a rough transition, but she was coping with that very well, we thought.’

He added: ‘She might have been battling something that was unknown to the family at this time, which now caused a great tragedy.’

Joseph's brother Tony Williams said she seemed to be transitioning from her military life to civilian life well

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