LAKELAND (FOX 13) - The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is in a standoff with an armed man who has threatened suicide and is holding his 6-year-old daughter hostage.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office was already searching for the suspect, Gary Cauley, 39, to charge him with domestic violence after allegedly hitting his estranged wife at her home on July 2.
Then, on July 5, two men broke into the home and seemed to only be looking for Cauley. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Cauley's estranged wife and their child were home at the time.
The men reportedly just looked around and left.
The sheriff says Cauley then came to the house around 4 a.m. July 7. He was reportedly agitated about the status of their relationship and they argued throughout the night.
Around 1 p.m., Cauley’s wife told him she and their daughter were going to the beach. Their daughter, 6, “let it slip,” according to Sheriff Judd, that they were going to meet a man Cauley did not like.
That’s when he held his daughter in the home and his wife left the home to call sheriff’s deputies.
The sheriff says Cauley was in possession of a firearm, but his daughter did not appear to be in danger. Cauley said he did not want to go to jail and he loves his daughter and would not do anything to hurt her.
Deputies said they could hear Cauley’s daughter over the phone, laughing and playing.