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Man accused of child molestation takes curious route to suicide

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- Covington Police were alerted by Jasper County authorities about 4 a.m. Monday that an ongoing incidence of child molestation had occurred in the city over the past several years.

According to CPD Lt. Paul Daily, the matter came to light after Jasper County Sheriff's Office deputies became involved in what turned out to be a bizarre incident at Alcovy Shores subdivision on Jackson Lake.

CPD detectives were told that an 11-year-old girl told her mother that her stepfather had molested her. When confronted by the mother, the 41-year-old stepfather allegedly admitted the allegations were true.

The family had moved from Covington to Jackson Lake a week ago.

After learning what had happened to her daughter, Dailey said the mother then called for her pastor and his wife, who arrived at the Jackson Lake home about 1 a.m.

"Apparently all five of them are in the living room talking about this when the daddy announces he's going to take a long swim in Jackson Lake," Dailey said.

At that time, the Sheriff's Office was called and deputies arrived, but were unable to locate the man.

"About two hours later, the husband comes back and knocks on the door, but the wife won't let him in," Dailey said. "He then goes out to a shed and supposedly stabs himself in the foot."

Daily said his wife described the wound as having been made with a knife and a hammer. The man allegedly hammered the knife into his heel, saying he was trying to hit his "femur artery." Daily said it is assumed he was trying for his "femoral artery," which is located in the upper thigh.

The man was transported by ambulance to Newton Medical Center "where he was treated medically and mentally and is currently being evaluated," Daily said.

The investigation into the child molestation is continuing, including a forensic examination of the victim. Daily said, based on what the preacher, the mom and the daughter have told detectives, he is confident charges will be filed.