DELAND, Fla. — Investigators with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office are searching for a DeLand man who put a 3-year-old girl in the oven, deputies said.
Terry May, 45, faces child abuse charges. May used to date the child's mother, investigators said.
The girl told investigators May beat her with a belt and put her in the oven, deputies said.
"He did not beat her and he didn't put her in no oven. That's a lie," said May's mother, Louise Douglas. "He did nothing but take care of her. He's not a bad person, that's my son. I'm not saying it because he's my son, that's the truth."
The girl had several noticeable injuries, including an extensive abrasion on her ear; several contusions and swelling on the top of her head and forehead; a 6-inch scar on her back; and abrasions and lacerations on her feet, hands and leg, deputies said.
"It just boggles my mind that you would torment and beat and place a kid in the oven, and yet you walk around on two feet. Animals don't treat their kids the way this guy treated this little girl," said Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood.
The sheriff's office released some pictures of the child's injuries.
Chitwood said he believes the little girl because her story never changed.
"How can you teach a three-year-old to make up a story and tell the story consistently over and over again? Not only to deputies, not only to DCF workers, but unsolicited when she was being treated for her injuries at the hospital. She tells the hospital staff that Terry did this," Chitwood said.
May’s last known location was Lenox Court in DeLand, deputies said.
Call 386-248-1777 to reach the VCSO Communications Center or submit an anonymous tip via Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 888-277-TIPS or westopcrime.com.
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