Sheriff: Volusia man suspected of putting girl in oven, pouring boiling water on 3-year-old boy

Suspect was accused of abusing girl last year, but charges were dropped

Terry May's January 2018 booking photo

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A Deltona man who was not prosecuted last year after he was accused of putting a 3-year-old girl in a hot oven was accused of child abuse, again last week in an unrelated case after child protection investigators say he poured boiling water on a 3-year-old boy.

The Florida Department of Children and Families was notified Sept. 26 of possible child abuse after the 3-year-old boy's day care called the abuse hotline at 850-487-6100. Day care instructors told the child protective investigator they spotted a mark on the child's back that ran from the top of his back down to his bottom.

The boy's mother told the day care the toddler obtained the mark from being "pulled across the top of a trampoline" and asked the instructors not to call DCF, according to the DCF investigator.

The boy's mother allowed Terry May, 47, to watch the child when he was not at day care, according to the sheriff's office incident report.

The child protective investigator attempted to took custody of the boy and took him to the hospital after speaking to the mother who said she could not leave work and was busy, the report said.

At the hospital, the child told the investigator he had been at May's home and had an accident on the floor. The boy said after the accident, May grabbed boiling water from the stove and poured it on him.

"Terry burned me," the boy said, according to the report.

Doctors said the burn injury happened about two weeks prior to Sept. 27 and had healed.

The investigation is ongoing and May is not currently in custody, according to jail records and the report.

This is not the first time a child of the same age has accused May of child abuse.

News 6 reported in January 2018 that investigators said a 3-year-old girl had extensive injuries. Medical examiners determined that a burn injury to the child's ear was likely caused by May placing the girl in the oven, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office. The child abuse charge was later dropped, according to the sheriff.

After the most recent abuse allegations, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood posted about May's previous history of suspected child abuse.

"Last year we arrested Terry May on a charge of abusing a 3-year-old girl who said he beat her with a belt and burned her in an oven. Unfortunately, it was her word against Terry's, and prosecutors weren't able to make the case," Chitwood said. "The charge was dropped."

As for the current case, Chitwood said, "This little boy had an accident, and we believe Terry got boiling water from the stove and poured it on him. The poor kid has a burn mark across his back."

The sheriff instructed the community to "stay turned" on the case, adding, "There is no bigger bully than the kind of coward who picks on 3-year-olds."

WKMG has emailed and called DCF officials to learn if the boy is still in state custody.

Anyone who suspects child abuse can call the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-962-2873 or report it online at