US

Man Who Allegedly Tortures 2-Year-Old Girl Kills Himself

By Alan Cheung

The 37-year-old man kills himself after being accused of torturing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter by burning her and shooting her with a BB gun.

Escambia County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said that Andrew Bennett Ross Celauis died in hospital on May 7, WGN reported.

After Celauis was arrested in April, he attempted suicide by hanging himself in his jail cell just hours after the charges were laid on him on May 1, WSOC reported.

Celauis was still alive when he was being transported to this hospital; he died six days later.

Investigators said that they found surveillance equipment in the 2-year-old’s home.

County Sheriff David Morgan said they were able to pull video evidence from the equipment and his cellphone—revealing vicious acts of torture and violence.

The footage revealed Celauis burning the 2-year-old with a blowtorch, shocking her with a dog collar, and throwing a full water bottle at her while she was sleeping.

“We had a number of instances where this individual, the suspect, would use an airsoft gun to just shoot a sleeping child, for no other reason but to wake the child up and hurt the child,” Morgan said, according to WGN 9.

Morgan said that there were suspicions that sexual abuse was probably involved, WSOC reported.

He added that Celauis wore something on his face to add to the “terror” of what he was already doing.

“The level of terror that this child was put through …, our abuser would wear a mask, a werewolf mask, and the collar that the chief described is a tasing collar for dogs, if you want to think of something you could do to a child to terrorize her, this child lived through that,” Morgan said, according to WGN 9.

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

The girlfriend was cooperating with police and has not been charged yet. The child has been given to her biological father.

The State Attorney’s Office confirmed that Celauis faced charges for allegedly murdering a young child in 2006. The jury found him to be not guilty, WEAR reported.

An accomplice to the abuse, Eric Furnans, 36, has also been arrested for allegedly destroying evidence for Celaius while he was in prison.

Eric Furnans mugshot
Eric Furnans, pictured, was allegedly called by Andrew Ross Celaius, 37, from jail, and instructed to destroy a cellphone belonging to Celaius. After he did so, he was arrested and charged with tampering with evidence. (Escambia County Sheriff’s Office)

The Associated Press and NTD reporter Zachary Steiber contributed to this article