Volusia County

Argument over disciplining a child led to murder-suicide in Deltona, sheriff says

DELTONA, Fla. — The Volusia County sheriff said a fight over disciplining a child, led to a murder-suicide in Volusia County.


Investigators said a man stabbed his wife and then himself Monday night at a home on Gramercy Drive in Deltona.

Photos: Volusia sheriff to give update on children present during murder-suicide in Deltona home

Investigators said three children were in the home at the time but were not hurt.

Read: Man, woman found dead in apparent murder-suicide, 3 children found in home, deputies say

Chitwood posted on social media that the children will need “a lot of love and support” and that they’re going to stay with family.

“For the 10-year-old to have witnessed that, I can’t imagine what the rest of their lives are going to be like,” Chitwood said.

While the sheriff’s office had never been called to the home before, deputies say the perpetrator, 31-year-old Oscar Salazar, did have a history of domestic abuse.

As he provided an update on their investigation Tuesday, Sheriff Chitwood detailed the horror that took place.

“The 10-year-old runs to the neighbor, screaming for help that his step-dad is stabbing his mom,” Chitwood explained. “Those folks call 911. They get the response moving.”

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Chitwood says the three children were home when Salazar stabbed 26-year-old Byanca Cruz Tovar to death before taking his own life.

According to Sheriff Chitwood, Salazar had been arrested twice in Orlando for abusing Byanca back in 2016.

“It’s classic domestic violence,” Chitwood said. “That’s the sad part of how these things end. There’s a history there.”

Chitwood says the children, ages 10, 5, and 6 are now living with separate relatives. He says the community s working to support the families involved, but the underlying tragedy is what’s still to come for the children.

“It’s just a matter of what the little ones saw or heard, and what help they are going to need,” Chitwood said. “When you think about it, what tragedy can you go through other than watching your mother get killed at the hands of your father or stepfather?”

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The sheriff’s office says they’re working with partner agencies, including Volusia Public Schools, to support the children.

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