The hunt for a Florida man accused of beating his ex-girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter with a belt and then putting her inside a heated oven ended after he turned himself in to police on Thursday.
Terry May, 45, turned himself in at the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday evening, a day after authorities launched a widespread search for him.
According to police, the toddler suffered several injuries, including burn marks on her ear and ankles as well as belt marks on her body.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood told reporters May was watching the little girl at the time. When her mom saw her daughter’s injuries, she called deputies, officials said. The toddler reportedly told authorities May “frequently” hit her with a belt.
“It just boggles my mind you would torment and beat and place a kid in the oven and yet you walk around on two feet,” Chitwood said at a news conference Wednesday. “Animals don’t treat their kids the way this guy treated this little girl.”
Chitwood told FOX35 Orlando: “When you look at the pictures and read the affidavit and see what this human piece of garbage did to a 3-year-old little girl – he burned her, he beat her, beat her with a belt, then placed her in an oven.”
May was being held on $50,000 bond on a child abuse charge.
Members of May's family disputed the claims against him, saying they believe another person abused the child.
“[He] loved this little girl,” his mother told FOX35. “When she was a newborn baby he took care of her. He brought her clothes, Pampers, he gave her everything.”
Fox News' Travis Fedschun contributed to this report.