SUMTER COUNTY, Fla. - A search is underway for a Sumter County man accused of assaulting two girls and killing one of them, deputies said.
The mother of one of the victims told Channel 9 that the suspect, Larry Darnell Peavy, 35, had been a family friend for seven years.
"We let him stay here," Nycole Jackson said. "He stayed here months at a time sometimes."
Deputies received a call Sunday afternoon from the Tavares Police Department to check on the well-being of a 16-year-old girl at a home in the 300 block of South Pine Street in Bushnell.
Deputies found Aleaya Marie Jackson dead inside the home, investigators said. Her cause of death has not been released.
"It's a hurting process and I can't stand here and tell you that I haven't shed any tears, I have," Michael Lee Jenkins, Jackson's father, told Channel 9's Myrt Price.
Deputies are searching for Peavy, who was last seen driving a gray 1997 Nissan Sentra with license tag number 2295UJ. His vehicle was found Tuesday in Fort Pierce.
Peavy brought the two girls to the home for a party Saturday night, beat both of them, sexually assaulted the surviving victim and killed Jackson, deputies said.
Peavy drove the sexual assault victim to Tavares and she contacted detectives, investigators said.
"The devil just came and took something from me," Jenkins said. "I'm numb within and it's only the Holy Spirit that's keeping me together."
Nycole Jackson said she received an ominous text message from the other victim when she was brought home.
"The text that she sent said that (Peavy) told her she was not allowed to see Aleaya because Aleaya was unconscious and he proceedd to take home," Jackson said. "I knew then in my heart that she wasn't coming home."
Jenkins said he and his daughter worked with Peavy at Dura-Stress and that Peavy had recently began making inappropriate sexual comments about Jackson's daughter.
Nycole Jackson said she was having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that Peavy is accused in her daughter's death.
"She called him Uncle Larry," Jackson said. "They had a song together. They were just cool with each other."
Anyone with information about Peavy's location is urged to contact the Sumter County Sheriff's Office at 352-793-2621 or to remain anonymous Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).
"I hope you realize you broke the hearts of a lot of people," Jenkins said.
Channel 9's Myrt Price is following this developing story. Follow him on Twitter and Eyewitness News for updates.
Tavares police then contacted the Sumter Sheriff’s Office. Deputies went to the scene and that’s where they found the other victim dead. pic.twitter.com/K4G5fZrVKs— Myrt Price (@MPriceWFTV) November 6, 2017
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