Man accused of torturing 2-year-old girl dies, deputies say

PENSACOLA, Fla. — A Florida man accused of torturing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter by burning her, shooting her with a BB gun and wearing a werewolf mask to scare her has killed himself.

An Escambia County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said 37-year-old Andrew Bennett Ross Celauis died at a hospital Tuesday.Celauis was arrested April 9. He tried to kill himself May 1 in his jail cell and was hospitalized. He died six days later.

Investigators said Celauis filmed himself torturing the child. County Sheriff David Morgan said video evidence from surveillance equipment found inside the child’s home, as well as Celaius’ cellphone, shows him burning the 2-year-old with a blowtorch, shocking her with a dog collar and throwing a full water bottle at her as she slept.

“We had a number of instances where this individual, the suspect would use an airsoft gun to just shoot a sleeping child, for no other reason but to wake the child up and hurt the child,” Morgan said at a press conference.

Morgan said that Celaius also appeared in the video wearing a werewolf mask while tormenting the child.

“The level of terror that this child was put through, our abuser would wear a mask, a werewolf mask and the collar that the chief described is a tasing collar for dogs,” Morgan said. “If you want to think of something you could do to a child to terrorize her, this child lived through that.”

Investigators said the mother didn’t know about the abuse. It was discovered when she brought the girl to the hospital for treatment of ringworm, which turned out to be burns.

Records show Celaius was charged in the murder of a young child in 2006 but was found not guilty, WEAR reported.

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