Category Archives: Breaking News

Tori Otway killed: Teen dies in DeBary rollover crash

Friends and family members shared prayers, sympathy and sorrow after the death of 19-year-old Tori Otway in a single-vehicle rollover crash in DeBary on Sunday.

“Prayers go out to you and your family,” a Facebook user told Otway’s uncle.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, said Laura Williams, a spokesman for the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

The crash investigation closed Shell Road for about nine hours, according to Williams. Orange City Fire Rescue pronounced her dead at the scene.

Otway was ejected from the 2003 Ford Escape SUV she was driving when it landed on its passenger side in parking area at 475. S. Shell Road. That’s in an industrial and commercial area south of the Springview subdivision.

“She was not wearing a seat belt,” Williams said in a statement. Otway was the only occupant.

She graduated from Deltona High School in 2016 and attended Daytona State College, according to her Facebook page.

Public records list her address as Deltona but she had recently been staying with a friend in DeBary.

Williams said Otway drove from the home at 1:10 a.m.

“Investigators said she drove west on Benson Junction, turned onto South Shell Road northbound, and the vehicle left the roadway, struck a curb and re-entered the roadway,” the statement said.

“The vehicle crossed the road and flipped onto its side, then rolled onto its roof in a parking area at 475 S. Shell Road.

 

DeBary murder suspect Anton Sanders left hateful message, report said

The Sanford man accused of fatally stabbing a DeBary woman in her home left behind a profanity-laced message on his ex-girlfriend’s answering machine, a new document shows.

Anton Sanders, 45, is being held without bond in the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach on a charge of first-degree murder.

The ex-boyfriend is accused of killing 51-year Lisa Bresie in her home on Lantana Drive.

In his arrest affidavit, released this week, deputies said they found her body and spotted multiple stab wounds while conducting a well-being check. They also found a message from Sanders on her answering machine, the affidavit said.

It was mostly profanity.

A family member and a friend told deputies Sanders had abused Bresie in the past and they broke up sometime this summer. They had not seen her since Nov. 1 and were concerned about her safety.

Sanders was with her vehicle when the Florida Highway Patrol responded to a report of an impaired man showing signs of distress along Interstate 275 in Pinellas County on Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office said.

He had her blood-spattered Hyundai and the keys to her vehicle.

Sanders, also wearing blood-stained clothing, tried to throw himself over a wall that separated the highway from the water below during questioning by the Florida Highway Patrol.

He was transported to a hospital in St. Petersburg as a precaution.

“Sanders was transported to a local hospital for medical evaluation and subsequently admitted to the hospital due to a high amount of cocaine in this body,” a report released this week said

During an interview with officers at the hospital on Nov. 6, he admitted they were no longer a couple but said she would let him drive her car on times.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office on Monday said a fingerprint found in blood inside the house came back as a match to Sanders.

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Christopher Langer’s dad in 2011: “My son is a drug addict”

Six years ago, when his son was facing a possible prison sentence for drug-trafficking charges, Scott Langer of DeBary appealed to a judge for leniency.

“My son is a drug addict,” the elder Langer said of then 24-year-old Christopher Langer. “He is a new father, and he has a good heart. He is not a violent person, and would not hurt a flea. But he is a drug addict.”

Christopher Langer, now 31, remains at the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach as an investigation continues into the explosives and containers of bodily fluids found in the house he shares with his parents in Saxon Woods.

Mass Destruction

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood told TV reporters that Langer was building a weapon of mass destruction and wanted to harm first responders.

Langer rigged a SpongeBob SquarePants lunch box as a booby trap in the backyard, Chitwood said.

Investigators also found a metal pineapple-style grenade with a paperclip in place to hold the lever and keep it from exploding.

They also found a booby-trap in the backyard covered by a toy.

Chitwood said Langer has been involuntarily committed four times under the state’s Baker Act. He described the suspect as an anti-government heroin addict.

Two weeks ago, deputies responded to the same home and administered two antidotes after Langer overdosed on heroin.

Domestic Disturbance

A domestic disturbance that started Sunday led to the discovery of an array of potentially explosive devices and substances, prompting a bomb squad response that lasted through the night and into Monday morning.

Volusia County sheriff’s deputies, detectives, Hazmat units from Volusia County and Deltona fire departments and members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms responded.

Deputies arrived at 124 Bradwick Circle around 4:11 p.m. Sunday in response to an argument between Langer and his parents. During the argument, an intoxicated Langer told his parents he had put an explosive substance inside a grenade.

Langer initially denied the grenade existed. But then he acknowledged he had thrown it outside, showing it to the deputy. The deputy found a metal pineapple-style grenade with a paperclip in place to hold the lever and keep it from exploding.

Deputies evacuated the house and began an investigation and obtained a search warrant. About 200 containers were found in the house containing unknown powders, acids and other materials.

Many of them (about 79) have been placed into a containment area, and many have been determined not to be bomb-making materials but bodily fluids.

A bomb robot used to examine a hole in the back yard discovered a small explosive device, and a second possible explosive device was found in a lunchbox.

Some neighboring homes in the area were evacuated in the initial stages of the call, but those residents returned to their homes Sunday evening.

Back in Jail

Langer has been charged with making/possessing a destructive device and was transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail, where he was being held Sunday morning on $5,000 bail. (Note: that bail was later revoked by a judge.)

Two additional charges stemming from an August case involving Langer were added. He is accused of stealing a laptop and generator from his father and pawning the items for drug money. The additional pre-trial release charges are for grand theft and dealing in stolen property.

In April 2011, he entered no-contest pleas to charges of attempting to obtain controlled substance by fraud and possession of Scheduled II substance. Both are third-degree felonies.

He was placed on two years drug offender probation and ordered to complete a treatment diversion program. He was discharged from the program after two months for drinking alcohol.  He was also back into the program and completed it in October 2012.

A judge terminated his probation that month.

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Grenade, bodily fluids found, man arrested in DeBary’ Saxon Woods

A grenade, other explosive devices and containers of bodily fluids were found in a home in DeBary’s Saxon Woods subdivision, deputies said this morning.

Christopher S. Langer, 31, was arrested after a dispute with his parents at 124 Bradwick Circle, where responding deputies found a grenade in the backyard.

An intoxicated Langer told his parents he had put an explosive substance inside a grenade, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesman Andrew Gant.

“Langer initially denied the grenade existed when a responding deputy asked him about it. But then he acknowledged he had thrown it outside, and he offered to show the deputy where it was,”
“Upon searching the area, the deputy found a metal pineapple-style grenade with a paperclip in place to hold the lever and keep it from exploding.”

These agencies responded an remained on scene as of 5:30 a.m. Monday, 13 hours after the original call.

  • Volusia County sheriff’s deputies and detectives
  • Hazmat units from Volusia County and Deltona fire departments embers of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

“Deputies evacuated the house and began an investigation that continues at this time. A search warrant resulted in the discovery of an estimated 200 containers inside the house containing unknown powders, acids and other materials,” Gant wrote.  “Many of them (about 79 as of this writing) have been placed into a containment area, and many have been determined not to be bomb-making materials but bodily fluids.”

A bomb robot found:

  • a small explosive device
  • a second possible explosive device was found in a SpongeBob SquarePants lunchbox.

“Some neighboring homes in the area were evacuated in the initial stages of the call, but those residents returned to their homes Sunday evening,” Gant said.

The suspect:

  • was charged with making/possessing a destructive device.
  • was transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail, where he was being held Sunday morning on $5,000 bail. ( A judge later revoked his bond)
  • faces additional charges pending the outcome of the investigation

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DeBary murder suspect Anton L. Sanders jailed in Volusia

A 45-year-old Sanford man returned to Volusia County today after being charged in the slaying of his ex-girlfriend, a DeBary woman.

Anton Sanders is being held without bond in the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach on a charge of first-degree murder.

Sanders is accused of fatally stabbing Lisa Bresie in her home on Lantana Drive.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office on Monday said a fingerprint found in blood inside the house came back as a match to Sanders.

Blood in car

Sanders was with Bresie’s vehicle when the Florida Highway Patrol responded to a report of an impaired man showing signs of distress along Interstate 275 in Pinellas County on Thursday, the Sheriff’s Office said.

“A trooper noticed blood in the vehicle,” Sheriff’s Office spokesman Andrew Gant said in a statement. “Sanders’ clothing was later confirmed to have blood on it. While troopers and medical personnel were on scene, Sanders tried to throw himself over a wall that separated the highway from the water below. He was transported to a hospital in St. Petersburg.”

He was being held in the Pinellas County Jail before he was taken to Volusia’s lockup today.

Found dead

Bresie was found dead in her home on Lantana Drive on Sunday while deputies were conducting a well-being check.

She suffered multiple stab wounds and large amounts of blood were found in the home.

“She was found deceased when deputies entered the home using a key provided by a family member,” Gant said.

A Facebook page under Bresie’s name offered these details:

She was single, worked at 21st Century Auto Insurance, studied at Seminole State College of Florida and was from Tomahawk, Wisconsin.

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Lisa Bresie killed: Suicidal ex-beau’s bloody fingerprint found, report says

The death of a DeBary woman is being called a homicide and her ex-boyfriend is under suspicion in the Tampa Bay area for the apparent fatal stabbing,  a local TV station and newspaper are reporting.

The body of Lisa Bresie, 51, was found Sunday afternoon in her home on Lantana Drive, along with a bloody fingerprint from her unidentified ex-boyfriend, according to WFTV.com.

Her vehicle was found Thursday in Pinellas County, with her ex-boyfriend behind the wheel, the website said.

Anton L. Sanders

Anton L. Sanders, 45, was identified as the ex-boyfriend in an article by the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

It quotes Sheriff Mike Chitwood, who described Sanders as a “jilted” ex-boyfriend and said Bresie was stabbed multiple times.

The sheriff said the house was a “bloody mess” and the Sheriff’s Office is seeking to get Sanders back to Volusia County. He may have a sister in the St. Petersburg area, the article said.

“Investigators said he tried to jump off a bridge to kill himself,” WFTV.com is reporting.

Online records show Sanders was arrested in 2010 on charges of fleeing and alluding; reckless driving and driving on suspended/revoked license.

Details and outcome of the charges were not immediately available late Monday.

Deputies found her body during a well-being check Sunday.

Random violence is not suspected, the Sheriff’s Office said early Monday.

A Facebook page under Bresie’s name offered these details:

She was single,  worked at 21st Century Auto Insurance, studied at Seminole State College of Florida and was from Tomahawk, Wisconsin.

“Major Case detectives are actively investigating this case and interviewing multiple people who may have information,” Volusia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Andrew Gant said in a statement Monday morning. “No additional information is available at this time but will be provided as the investigation allows.”

Gant said this about the recovery of her vehicle:

“Earlier Sunday, a deputy had responded to the same house (71 Lantana Drive) in response to an attempt-to-contact request from the Florida Highway Patrol, which had located Bresie’s vehicle in Pinellas County in the early-morning hours Thursday,” Gant wrote.  “When the deputy went to Bresie’s home Sunday morning, he was unable to make contact with anyone after several attempts.”

Bresie was found dead when deputies “entered the home using a key provided by a family member,” he added.

“At this point in the investigation, detectives do not believe Bresie’s death was the result of a random act of violence,” Gant said.

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DeBary mayor: ‘Keep your fingers crossed!’

Mayor Bob Garcia this morning expressed optimism about electricity restoration for still-powerless neighborhoods in DeBary.

Electricity has slowly been returning to DeBary homes and businesses after Hurricane Irma downed power lines and caused other problems with distribution networks Sunday.

“I believe that based on what I see the [equipment] and supplies are coming into DeBary,” Garica said online Saturday. “Keep your fingers crossed!”

The message was posted on Facebook’s DeBary Proud! page by DeBary resident Diane M Van Auken on behalf of Garcia, who is “not on social media,” the post said.

“The power company is working hard to get All the power restored in DeBary,” said Garcia. His update also said:

  • Traders Cove has power
  • Highland Marina has partial power restored and is waiting for transformers and tree removal
  • Linemen in Terra Alta are also waiting for tree removal and transformers

“The Vistas area (where Mayor Garcia & his family live) were hit hard and are still without power,” he wrote. “There are many problems there that are being worked on before the power can be restored.”

He said it is possible homes in the Valencia Circle area may get power by tonight or no later than Sunday.

Duke Energy says it has 81,055 Volusia customers. Of those, 65,438 had power restored and 6,126 remained without electricity as of 4 p.m. Saturday. Power restoration was estimated by midnight Sunday.

Florida Power and Light said 20,670 of its 176,800 customers in Volusia County are without power as of Saturday.

According to Florida’s Department of Emergency Management:

Duke Energy had more than 1.3 million customers affected by Irma. Power has already been restored to more than 1.1 million customers.

  • Duke Energy expects power restoration to be completed for western service areas the night of Friday, Sept. 15.
  • Duke Energy expects power restoration to be completed for central and northern service areas the night of Sunday, Sept. 17.

Florida Power and Light had 4.4 million customers affected by the storm. Power has already been restored to more than 3.4 million customers.

  • FPL expects power restoration to be completed for the East Coast the night of Sunday, Sept. 17.
  • FPL expects power restoration to be completed for the West Coast by Friday, Sept. 22.

This isn’t the first time Garcia was featured on social media because of the storm.

On Saturday, as the storm approached, a Facebook user posted video of Garcia urging residents to volunteer for cleanup and repairs after Irma passed.

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‘This is the time to hunker down,’ Volusia manager says



Volusia County officials tonight urged residents to stay indoors as Hurricane Irma hammers Florida. A countywide curfew begins at 9 p.m. today and lasts until noon Monday.

“This is the time to hunker down,” said Volusia County Manager Jim Dinneen.

About 4,000 people are currently in emergency shelters in Volusia County. He said the most damaging winds are expected between 11 p.m. today through 10 a.m. Monday.  Gusts of 75 miles per hour are possible.

“We strongly advise that everyone stay inside and not go out in the storm,” Dinneen said. “The ground is saturated from the rain and power lines may be down.”

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said officers will use “discretion and common sense” while enforcing the curfew.

“Those who are evacuating, unavoidably traveling for work or who have an urgent need to travel in the area are free to do so if absolutely necessary.” a county news release said. “The intent of the curfew is to keep people safe, discourage loitering and prevent looting – which won’t be tolerated.”

Other updates from the county:

  • All bridges in Volusia County to the beachside are closed.
  • The north causeway in New Smyrna Beach and the Main Street Bridge in Daytona Beach have westbound lanes open for those who are leaving beachside.
  • Turnbull Bay Bridge in New Smyrna Beach and Highbridge in Ormond Beach are closed.

The number for the Citizens Information Center is 866-345-0345.

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Hurricane Irma: DeBary Mayor Bob Garcia asks for help


As Hurricane Irma neared, DeBary Mayor Bob Garcia this morning urged residents to quickly complete storm preparations and volunteer if possible to help the community.

Garcia made his comments at about 9 a.m. from the parking lot of Genuine Bistro & Lounge at the crossroads of DeBary’s busiest roadways: U.S. Highway 17-92 and Highbanks Road.

He said residents should complete preparations by 5 p.m. today or, if they’re planning to evacuate, they should leave immediately.

His comments were captured by a Facebook user and posted online.

Garcia was flanked by City Commissioner Erika Benfield and workers can be seen in the background completing storm preparations.

Volusia County is facing an increased threat for tornadoes based on the latest track, according to county emergency managers.

They are expecting 8 to 12 inches of rain with some areas
receiving 15 inches.

After the storm passes and conditions are safe, residents should check on their neighbors to make sure they are safe. Garcia urged residents to clean up, but not to put debris near roadways, fire hydrants and utility poles.

He encouraged residents to join him sometime Monday after the storm passes to volunteer with cleanup efforts.

He said he expects to stage at noon Monday near the intersection to coordinate volunteers.

“I need your help,” Garcia said.  “This is not going to be sponsored by the city. This is us coming together as a community.”

Garcia made his comments shortly before a briefing by Volusia County emergency managers and Sheriff Mike Chitwood.

Chitwood said Volusia County will be under a curfew from 9 p.m. Sunday to 9 a.m. Monday.

Volusia County’s Citizens Information Center is answering questions from callers right now. The number is  866-345-0345.

“We do not want people in the water or at the beach today and in the coming days,” the county said in a news release this morning. “Beach officials are flying the double-red flag. After the
storm, please wait [for] an announcement that it is safe to visit the beach. There may be debris in the water and along the shore.”

The county said Florida Power & Light is expected widespread
destruction throughout its service area. More than 16,000 workers from nearly 30 states are responding.
“FPL expects 3.4 million customers may lose power as a result of Irma, and could experience prolonged outages, based on the current forecast,” the county said.

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DeBary proudly assembling for Hurricane Irma


Got a skill? Want to help? DeBary residents are assembling a volunteer response team in case Hurricane Irma hits.

Tentative plans call for a meeting of potential volunteers Monday night with a location and other details to be released on DeBary Proud on Facebook.

“We are hoping to have people of all skills available for storm or other natural disaster events that can help along side first responders,” Jason Clisby wrote.

Volusia County offers up-to-date information about storm preparedness, including important checklists, online.

DeBary has been hit hard by flooding in the past, even by indirect storm strikes.  As a result, millions have been spent upgrading the River City’s storm-water systems.

Even with those upgrades, DeBary could suffer widespread flooding under a major storm, Public Works Director Alan Williamson told the City Council in June.

Tropical Storm Fay dumped close to 24 inches of rain in 24 hours on parts of West Volusia in 2008, overflowing lakes, putting streets underwater and flooding 130 homes in DeBary.

Clisby issued an invitation for storm response volunteers on Sunday morning.

“If you are interested in volunteering or just getting more info, comment in this post.,” he wrote. “We will update as we have more information. We will likely call for a bigger meeting one evening this week to get everyone on the same page.”

The National Hurricane Center said this about Irma on Sunday:

  • It’s too early to say with certainty where Irma might hit in the U.S. mainland, though projections show it aiming at Florida and sitting northeast of Cuba by Friday.
  • Hurricane Irma is a Category 3 with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph while moving west-southwest.
  • The storm will power up as it moves over warmer water over the next three to five days.

“After 5 days, the forecast becomes much more uncertain, with most models suggesting a sharp turn north while remaining offshore,” the National Hurricane Center said this morning. “However, direct impacts to Florida can’t be ruled out as forecasts a week out are historically unreliable.”

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