US

Deputies: Man Accused of Torturing Little Girl Kills Himself

By Web Staff

PENSACOLA—A Florida man accused of torturing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter by burning her, shooting her with a BB gun, and wearing a werewolf mask to scare her has killed himself.

An Escambia County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman says 37-year-old Andrew Ross-Celaius died at a hospital on Tuesday, May 7.

Celaius was arrested April 9. He tried to kill himself on May 1 in his jail cell and was hospitalized.

Celaius was found hanging in his cell and died six days later after his family terminated life support, PNJ reported.

Investigators say Celauis filmed himself torturing his girlfriend’s daughter. They say he placed a dog collar on the girl and shocked her awake at night. Then he stood over her wearing a werewolf mask.

Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan described videos investigators found of the 37-year-old torturing the child as “the thing nightmares are made of.”

“The level of terror that this child was put through, our abuser would wear a mask, a werewolf mask, and the collar … is a tasing collar for dogs,” Morgan told reporters at a press conference. “If you want to think of something you could do to a child to terrorize her, this child lived through that.”

Investigators say the mother didn’t know about the abuse. It was discovered when she brought the girl to the hospital for treatment of ringworm, which turned out to be burns.

Celaius was arrested and charged with probation violation, possession of a weapon, marijuana possession, drug equipment, drugs-health-safety, six counts of aggravated child abuse, four counts of child abuse, and three counts of possession of a controlled substance.

How to Report Suspected Child Maltreatment

If you suspect a child is being maltreated, contact your local child protective services office or law enforcement agency, so officials can investigate and assess the situation. Most states have a number to call to report abuse or neglect.

To find out where to call, consult the State Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Numbers website.

The Childhelp organization can also provide crisis assistance and other counseling and referral services. Contact them at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).

“Every year more than 3.6 million referrals are made to child protection agencies involving more than 6.6 million children (a referral can include multiple children),” according to Childhelp.

NTD News reporter Zack Stieber and The Associated Press contributed to this article.