LAKE PANASOFFKEE – Sumter County Deputies were dispatched to the Lake Panasoffkee Family Dollar in response to a sex offense complaint involving a minor on Sunday just after 5:00 pm.
When deputies arrived, the victim’s mother told deputies that her daughter told her she was molested and raped. According to a statement from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, the victim stated that the abuse began when she was nine years old and lived out of state.
Deputies escorted the victim and her family to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office where they continued to investigate the allegations. During the investigation, the suspect began sending text messages to the victim’s mother one of which caused concern among the deputies due to the suspect’s history of suicidal threats.
Deputies located the suspect at his home and arrived on scene to attempt to contact him and ensure his safety. Deputies remained outside of the home and a detective was able to reach the suspect on the phone and asked him to come out of the house. The detective and the deputies heard a gunshot while speaking to the suspect on the phone.
The deputies entered the suspect’s home and found him in the master bedroom with a gunshot wound to the right side of his head.
According to the statement, the suspect’s identity is being withheld to protect the victim’s identity.