Not much is known about Joanna's life prior to the outbreak, except that she has a daughter named Gladys and a husband and is neighbors with the Clark, Tran, Dawson, Thompson and Ramirez families in the suburban El Sereno community of Los Angeles.
As Travis, Madison, and Nick arrive home, Joanna is on her front lawn preparing for her daughter's birthday party. As she continues to make preparations, Madison goes over to her house to inform her about something; what she was told is unknown.
Later, while she is cleaning up after her daughter's party, Joanna's neighbor Peter Dawson appears as a reanimated corpse and attacks her. The undead Peter tackles Joanna to the ground as she screams. She manages to break free from his grasp, but she keeps screaming as she tries to escape. Alicia attempts to help Joanna, but Madison prevents her from doing so.
It is not entirely clear what happened to her after she fled inside her home from the attack, but fresh blood could be seen splattered all over the deflated bounce house from Gladys' party, indicating that she was probably bitten and wounded. Additionally, when the military arrives, multiple body bags could be seen being carried out and also an X is spray-painted onto her home. Also their family dog is seen covered in blood before going over to the Clarks' house and Nick states that the blood is not from the dog.
Since she's not present in the next episode when the National Guardsmen are doing headcounts, it is likely that she was killed by the zombified Peter Dawson.
- Killed By
- Peter Dawson (Infected, Alive, Assumed)
A zombified Peter Dawson attacks Joanna Cruz on her front lawn, resulting in fresh blood splattering all over the deflated bouncy house. She flees into her home with Peter following after her into the house.
On the next morning, none of the Cruzs show up when the National Guards are declaring safety. The National Guard are seen removing multiple body bags from their house with an X spray-painted on the walls, indicating she and her family likely died.
- National Guards (Zombified, Assumed)
It is not known if the Cruz family were completely devoured by Peter Dawson. If not, then the family could have reanimated, and were eventually dispatched in the morning after by incoming National Guardsmen who took over the community of El Sereno.
It's also possible that they were infected and were shot alive by the National Guards.