Andrew Celauis, facing the prospect of spending decades behind bars on allegations that he brutally tortured his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter, reportedly took his life by hanging himself in a Florida jail cell this week.
Celauis had been arrested on multiple counts that he tortured the toddler by burning, electrocuting, and brutally beating her — often while wearing a werewolf mask to further terrorize the girl. As the Daily Mail reported, Celauis had been found hanging from his cell and was taken to a hospital. He died six days later.
The allegations against Celauis drew national attention, with police saying he burned the young girl with a blowtorch and used a shock collar to electrocute her. Celauis had also been accused of killing another two-year-old child back in 2006 but was acquitted of the charges.
He was arrested on April 9 after a police investigation determined that he had tortured the unnamed girl, and reportedly uncovered video of the abuse. Police said that Celauis was caught on video using an electric dog collar to shock the girl out of her sleep, and wore a werewolf mask to frighten her. The 37-year-old was also accused of shooting the girl with a pellet gun and throwing bottles filled with milk at her. On another occasion, Celauis used a blow torch to burn the girl, police claimed.
As KOLO reported, the girl’s mother brought the toddler to the hospital thinking that she was suffering from ringworm, but a doctor determined that it was actually a burn. Hospital officials alerted the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department, which in turn prompted a child abuse investigation that uncovered other signs of abuse across the young girl’s body.
“A doctor stated while examining the child, she noticed bruising on the child’s stomach, back, arms, elbows, and legs, the report states. There was also a large bruise on the child’s forehead, it adds,” a report from WEAR-TV noted.
Just a few hours before Celauis was found hanging in his cell, local authorities held a press conference to share the gruesome details of the alleged abuse. They also claimed that Celauis may have captured video of the abuse in order to share with others online.
“It goes far beyond just a child being abused,” said Sheriff David Morgan, via the Daily Mail.
Florida Man Andrew Bennett Ross-Celaius Accused of Torturing, Abusing 2-Year-Old Girl for months, treated her like a dog and even shot her with an airsoft gun while sleeping https://t.co/gANXBdZd78 via @nbcphiladelphia— Dorotea Bourne (@quetevayasbien) May 5, 2019
“Some of this evidence may have been shared in the cloud and shared with other people. We had a number of instances where this individual, the suspect, would use a [bb] gun to just shoot a sleeping child, for no other reason but to wake the child up and hurt the child.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.