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Astrologer suspected of double murder-suicide on eclipse day thought ‘apocalypse is here’

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A Los Angeles woman who police say fatally stabbed her partner before throwing her two children out of her moving car was an astrologer who posted days earlier that the eclipse is “a form of spiritual warfare” and “the apocalypse is here.”

Danielle Johnson, 34, who went by the alias “Danielle Ayoka” online and described herself as an astrologer, was responsible for what authorities say was a “double-murder suicide” hours before the eclipse became visible in the area.

Los Angeles Police Lt. Guy Golan confirmed to USA TODAY in an email that an account on X posting about the eclipse belonged to Johnson.

“WAKE UP WAKE UP THE APOCALYPSE IS HERE,” she warned in a post on Friday. “EVERYONE WHO HAS EARS LISTEN. YOUR TIME TO CHOOSE WHAT YOU BELIEVE IS NOW.”

Another post from the day before read, “This eclipse is the epitome of spiritual warfare. Get your protection on and your heart in the right place.”

Investigators are not looking at the eclipse as a possible motive for the crimes, Golan said. “Unfortunately, both parties are no longer with us, and that makes uncovering the facts of the motive problematic,” he wrote of Johnson and her partner, Jaelen Chaney, 29.

“Likely, we’re simply not going to know all of the things that factored into what motivated this heinous attack,” Golan said.

Investigators will continue to interview friends, families, and witnesses in an attempt to piece together events, he added.

Police say the incidents began at around 3:40 a.m. on Monday morning, when Johnson stabbed Chaney at their residence in Woodland Hills, around 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. Authorities believe the pair had a “verbal altercation that escalated into Johnson becoming violent,” according to an LAPD press release.

Chaney died at the scene, and authorities believe Johnson fled in her car with her 9-year-old and 8-month-old daughters. Chaney’s body was discovered around four hours later, when neighbors noticed the front door was open and went to check in on the family.

Investigators believe Johnson pushed the two children out of the vehicle as it sped down the 405 Freeway less than an hour later. The 9-year-old was taken to a nearby hospital with “moderate injuries,” while the younger child was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators say, a short while later, Johnson crashed her car into a tree while she was speeding at more than 100 mph down a Redondo Beach road, according to police. She did not survive the crash.

Golan said LAPD officers linked the two incidents after they learned of the two children left near the highway from the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

Johnson built online astrology following

A personal website linked to Johnson’s X account, where she had more than 100,000 followers, identified her as “a certified Reiki Master Teacher, who is also trained in over 10 different alternative healing modalities.”

According to a 2016 Refinery29 article that quoted her astrological advice, Johnson made astrology her day job at age 23. She built an online “spiritual support network” on her website, which allowed members to “have their auras and energies cleansed for a small price per month.”

Cybele Mayes-Osterman is a breaking news reporter for USA Today. Reach her on email at cmayesosterman@usatoday.com. Follow her on X @CybeleMO.

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