College professor dad kills toddler daughter, himself amid bitter custody battle: Report

A former Florida college professor and his 3-year-old daughter were reportedly found dead in his home Monday afternoon in what police are investigating as a murder-suicide.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the grisly discovery was made after Laurel Friedman called police requesting a welfare check for her daughter and her estranged husband, Ayhan Aytes, 48, whom she filed for divorce earlier this year.

Earlier this month, a judge ordered both parents abide by their parenting plan and fined Aytes $50 for every day he was in violation. The order came after Friedman filed an emergency motion after Aytes failed to return their daughter to her at their agreed-upon time, the newspaper reported.

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Our officers have responded to that address eight times in the past years,” Temple Terrace Police Department spokeswoman Laurie Hayes told WFLA, referring to Aytes’ home.

The news station reported that police were called to his home last Wednesday after he refused to give his daughter to Friedman.

Divorce papers obtained by the newspaper indicated that Friedman, an instructor at the University of South Florida, feared Aytes, a former assistant professor at the university, would flee to his native Turkey with their daughter. The woman’s father told The Times that the couple previously lived in Turkey but moved to Florida after an attempted coup in the country.

A cause of death remains undisclosed as police continue to investigate the apparent murder-suicide.

“We were failed when we tried to have Ela returned to me after it became obvious that her father’s mental health was rapidly deteriorating and after multiple violations of the custody agreement,” the grieving mother said in a statement issued to The Times. “In addition, the courts are not adequately equipped to the very real consequences and potential devastating outcomes caused by emotional and verbal abuse.”

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[Featured Image: Ayhan Aytes/Facebook]