'This is a heinous crime’: DeLand woman dies after being ‘brutally beaten’ by boyfriend, police say

'This is a heinous crime’: DeLand woman dies after being ‘brutally beaten’ by boyfriend, police say

DELAND, Fla. — A DeLand woman died Monday after police said she was “brutally beaten” by her boyfriend days earlier in what the sheriff described as a “heinous crime.”

DeLand police Chief Jason Umberger said the 26-year-old woman was found battered and unconscious Friday night at the old Dixie Lodge. Police said her boyfriend, Christopher Parker, 31, called 911 to report that she’d stopped breathing.

Police said the woman was transported to an area hospital and placed on life support, but succumbed to her injuries Monday night. An autopsy revealed her cause of death as blunt-force trauma to her head.

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"Her injuries were very disturbing and were the result of a vicious attack,” Umberger said.

Parker is now charged with first-degree murder for her death.

"This is a heinous crime,” Umberger said.

Witnesses told officers they heard screaming about 30 minutes before Parker called police.

Umberger said he and fellow investigators are frustrated that no one that heard the altercation called 911. During a press conference Tuesday, he urged residents to not hesitate to call 911 if they hear something out of the ordinary.

In situations like this one, he said, “Seconds can count.”

Umberger also urged anyone who feels they are a victim of domestic violence to reach out to law enforcement. He said in DeLand residents can call 386-626-7518 to speak with a victim advocate. Anyone can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233.

Parker is being held in the Volusia County Jail without bail.