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Was the solar eclipse the reason why US astrology influencer killed her partner, child?

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An astrology influencer in the United States fatally stabbed her partner at their Los Angeles apartment on Monday (8 April). She then threw her two children from a moving vehicle on a Los Angeles highway, resulting in the tragic death of her infant daughter. The reason: her concern about the
solar eclipse
, which occurred this week, which she described as the “epitome of spiritual warfare” in an online post just days before the incident.

The woman, who then rammed her car into a tree, killing herself, has been identified as Danielle Cherakiyah Johnson. She was an astrology influencer and recording artist known by the alias “Ayoka” who posts content on the platform X. In her online posts, she expressed concern about the eclipse’s potential for the end of the world.

Here’s what we know so far.

Knifed her partner, shoved the children

Danielle Johnson, who peddled weekly “aura cleanses” on her website and offered online zodiac readings, told followers that Monday’s total solar eclipse in North America was “the epitome of spiritual warfare.”

“Get your protection on and your heart in the right place,” she wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, on 4 April under her online pseudonym Danielle Ayoka.

“The world is very obviously changing right now and if you ever needed to pick a side, the time to do right in your life is now.”

Early Monday morning, she knifed her Air Force veteran partner dead, before taking off in a Porsche Cayenne with her two daughters, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Hurtling down the major 405 freeway before dawn, Johnson shoved the children — one nine years old, the other only eight months — out of the moving vehicle.

Only the nine-year-old child survived.

Half an hour later police were called to the scene of a horrific crash on the Pacific Coast Highway in which the luxury vehicle had slammed into a tree at 100 miles (160 kilometres) an hour.

Johnson’s body had been so disfigured in the crash that identification was difficult, the Times reported.

Police who went to the family apartment found a trail of bloody footprints and the body of 29-year-old Jaelen Allen Chaney. He had been stabbed in the heart.

The Times cited law enforcement sources as confirming that Johnson and Ayoka were the same person.

‘She was very standoffish’

While detectives have reviewed Johnson’s posts, police are not considering the eclipse to be a precipitating or contributing factor to the slayings “because we just don’t know why she did what she did,” Lieutenant Guy Golan told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

“We’ve taken all the facts we can, but without being able to interview her and without having something more tangible than a post on X, I don’t know how much weight you can give to somebody (saying) there’s an apocalypse and attribute it to one of the most horrific murders we’ve had in LA,” Golan, who is head of the homicide unit investigating the case, said.

Johnson has had an active social media presence for several years.

Her social media posts also include anti-Semitic rants, vaccine conspiracy theories, world-ending warnings, astrological predictions, and positive affirmations. On 5 April, the day of the incident, she posted the word “LOVE” numerous times. Her personal website lists a number of services, including “zodiac healing work,” “alcohol balancing system,” and “aura cleanse.”

“She was very standoffish,” said Norman Linder, a Woodland Hills neighbour, adding that he only saw Johnson and her daughters a few times before in the apartment complex, quoted in an NBC News report.

Barring this incident, Johnson had no felony criminal record in California, and there was no evidence of reported domestic violence. While eclipses have long been connected to end-of-times prophecies dating back to pre-history, scientists say there is no basis in fact for the conspiracies.

Monday’s spectacular eclipse offered an unparalleled celestial show for tens of millions of people in North America, from Mexico’s Pacific coast to Texas, Arkansas, Niagra Falls, New England and eastern Canada.

Onlookers watched in awe as the Moon obscured the Sun, allowing the star’s corona to be seen with the naked eye. Only a partial eclipse was visible in Los Angeles.

With inputs from AFP

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