Lady Lake man charged in 17-month-old daughter's bathtub drowning death

Suspect arrested in The Villages

Jeremy Main

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – A Lady Lake man has been charged Monday in the drowning death of his 17-month-old daughter, officials with the Lake County Sheriff's Office said.

A woman called 911 at 9:30 a.m. and said that her husband, Jeremy Main, 38, called her at work and said he had just killed the toddler, deputies said.

The woman was at work in Marion County when her husband called.

Deputies went to the home at 39730 Redbud Road in Lady Lake and made forced entry to check on the child. Lake County Sgt. Fred Jones said deputies found the toddler dead in the bathtub. Main was not at the home.

Main turned himself in at the Sumter County Sheriff's Office substation on County Road 466 in The Villages, deputies said. He is charged with first-degree murder.

Jones said they don't have answers yet as to why this happened, but that the death was no accidental.

"Everyone keeps asking us over and over again, 'Why? Any idea?' We don't, we don't know why," Jones said. "There's speculation that there could've been marital issues. That's what we're looking into."

Jones said the Sheriff's Office has responded to the home in the past, but for domestic disputes between two teenagers that also live there.

"Based on the call history, you wouldn't expect anything like this to come up," Jones said. " We're still trying to figure out who is Jeremy Main and why this happened."

Crime Scene Investigators, detectives and deputies on scene were distraught about the young girl's death.

"Underneath that uniform is a mother and father," Jones said. "In my 20 years in this line of work you still wonder what takes away a person's humanity that would allow them to do something like this."

The child's grandmother spoke to News 6 anchor Erik von Ancken Monday.

"[It's] hard to understand how anybody can destroy a living creature that showed 100 percent unconditional love," the grandmother, who did not share her name, said.

Neighbor's described the little girl to News 6 as a sweet baby and a "doll."

"She was really cute," neighbor Candace Pailer said. "She came over here and saw us, we said hi to her. She was the cutest baby you ever wanted to see."

This is a developing story. New information will be added as it is confirmed.