Man releases daughter, kills himself after 24-hour standoff in FL

Man releases daughter, kills himself after 24-hour standoff in FL

(RNN) - A 24-hour standoff came to a deadly end in Lakeland, FL, Sunday afternoon.

Deputies said 39-year-old Gary Cauley released his 6-year-old daughter, Ryland, after holding her hostage inside a home, then he took his own life.

According to WFLA, Cauley had an argument with his estranged wife on Saturday. Ryland accidentally informed Cauley that her mother was planning a trip to the beach with another man.

That's when he armed himself and the standoff began.

Cauley was a convicted felon with previous arrests for domestic battery, fraud and theft.

Sheriff Grady Judd said negotiators could hear Ryland playing and laughing in the background during the standoff, so they didn't believe she was in immediate danger with her father.

"He truly appears to love her," Judd told local media on Saturday. "We are getting zero indication from Gary that he is threatening any violence toward her."

After hours of silence, deputies became concerned for the child's safety Sunday. They later learned Cauley and Ryland had simply taken a nap inside a closet.

Negotiators convinced Cauley to let Ryland leave at about 1:20 p.m.

"Gary told Ryland, just before he sent her out the front door, 'Don't be afraid of the deputies. They're not going to hurt you. Walk out and walk to the deputies,'" Judd said in a Sunday news conference. "And then he told Ryland, 'And then I'm going to kill myself,'"

Just before 2 p.m., investigators said Cauley appeared in a window with a gun pointed at his head, chest and in his mouth.

Deputies used a chemical agent to finally get Cauley out of the house. He walked outside with the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

The Department of Children and Families has custody of Ryland. She will not be reunited with their mother until they determine it is safe.

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