Police: Father takes child from Volusia home, threatens to kill her, himself

Pair found after several hours, police say

By Loren Korn - Reporter

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. - A more than eight-hour search for a young girl and her father ended around 11:30 Tuesday night. Police said 29-year-old Kristian Keresztes took his daughter from the home but never told the mother where they were going.

"Apparently, they had some sort of argument before he had left the house with the child," said Officer Keith Walker.

Police said the child's mother called 911 after she got threatening messages from Keresztes.

"The father had started texting her that he was going to kill himself and the child, and he had wished the mother would be dead, too," said Walker.

Officers pinged Keresztes' phone, where at one time, it showed they were at a landfill.

"All of our hearts sank right there, thinking we had a murder-suicide," said Walker.

Several law agencies and Volusia County's Air One searched for the pair and finally found them in a tent, at a hunting camp, in the Tiger Bay Wildlife Management Area. An officer rescued the girl, while other officers had their guns drawn on the father.

"This ended up good, we got the child, she's safe," said Walker.

Keresztes was arrested for child neglect. He admitted to police that he texted those statements out of anger but never meant any harm. Police said they hope he gets the help he needs.

"We felt that at the time when this came out, that it could have been a really bad situation. We were all very happy when we saw this child," said Walker.

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