63ºF

‘I promise you’re OK:’ 7-year-old found hiding in Deltona home after 3 armed intruders tie up her parents

Volusia County deputies found the girl hiding after arresting 3 suspects

A screenshot of Volusia County deputy body camera video. Deputies responded to a home on Nov. 28, 2020 for an armed home invasion. (WKMG 2020)

DELTONA, Fla. – A quick-thinking 19-year-old called for help and a 7-year-old hid in her room after three armed men tied her parents up in their Deltona garage, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

All three suspects were arrested Saturday around 10 p.m. after the 19-year-old called 911 whispering to dispatchers that people in her house “have guns.” According to the 911 call released Monday, she was hiding in her room. Because of the 911 call, deputies were able to stop the home invasion in progress.

Officials said the suspects approached the open garage at the home on Eden Drive and pointed guns at two victims, demanding they empty their pockets. The armed suspects then entered the home, retrieving other adult victims and bringing them to the garage where they tied the victims’ hands.

[TRENDING: Man found clinging to boat 86 miles off Fla. | US may see ‘surge upon surge’ of COVID-19 | Mom of slain teen shot at burial service]

The caller said she was worried about her little sister and didn’t know where she was. Deputies said a 7-year-old girl was found hiding under a chair in her room.

Body camera video shows the first deputy on scene could see an armed person rummaging through items in the house and described a fight inside the home. Screaming and commotion can be heard on the video.

[WARNING: Video below contains graphic language and content]

As deputies are assessing the situation, someone emerged from the garage. After the suspect is on the ground, multiple people crawl out from under the partially open garage door with their hands tied behind their backs.

Another suspect was caught trying to climb over a fence and another in the backyard, according to the body camera video.

One of the victims can be heard saying her daughter is in the house. Deputies entered the home and located the 7-year-old.

“Hey sweetie, come here. You’re OK. We’re the police, I promise you’re OK,” one of the deputies can be heard saying in the video.

The obviously upset girl asked the deputy about her family.

“I just want my family,” the girl said.

The girl was unharmed and reunited with her parents. Deputies gave the brave 7-year-old a purple My Little Pony stuffed animal “for being a really strong girl today.”

Deputies identified the three suspects as Jermain Oliver, 30, John Anderson, 39, and Derrick Mathis, 32.

Oliver is charged with home invasion robbery with a firearm, five counts of kidnapping while armed with a firearm, one count of kidnapping a child under 13 while armed with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Anderson is charged with principal to home invasion, robbery with a firearm, five counts of principal to kidnapping while armed with a firearm and one count of principal to kidnapping a child under 13 while armed with a firearm. Mathis is charged with home invasion robbery with a firearm, five counts of kidnapping while armed with a firearm, one count of kidnapping a child under 13 while armed with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Officials said the incident is not considered random and is under active criminal investigation.


About the Author: