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Wednesday, January 18, 2023

25-year-old Ocala man charged with first degree murder in connection with toddler’s death

A 25-year-old Ocala man is facing a felony charge for first degree murder in connection with the death of a toddler.

On May 3, 2022, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office received reports from AdventHealth Waterman in Tavares, Florida, in reference to a toddler who was transported to the emergency room in critical condition. After many attempts to save the toddler’s life, she was pronounced deceased.

The MCSO Major Crimes unit responded to the hospital and began investigating the toddler’s death.

According to a press release from MCSO, an investigation led by Detective King revealed that the toddler had been physically abused while in the care of Travis Ray Thompson, which resulted in the toddler’s spine being “completely severed.”

Travis Ray Thompson
Travis Ray Thompson

Thompson claimed that he and the victim were in separate rooms when he heard a loud noise. He told investigators that he then found the victim, and she was unresponsive and taking shallow breaths.

According to MCSO, Thompson did not immediately call 911, and instead he waited for 30 minutes for the victim’s mother to arrive. At that point, he then began driving to the hospital.

Prior to arriving at the hospital, the victim’s mother realized that the victim was no longer breathing, and she instructed Thompson to call 911.

On September 1, 2022, the Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the victim’s cause of death was “traumatic injuries to the victim’s torso with a severing of her spine and internal bleeding behind her organs.”

Due to the severity and nature of the injuries, MCSO investigators determined that Thompson had applied significant, gradual force to the victim’s upper and lower body from the front with a fulcrum point on her lower back.

On September 8, 2022, Thompson was taken into custody for further questioning. When asked about the findings of the investigation, Thompson claimed that he did not know how or why the victim was murdered.

Thompson was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held without bond. Thompson is also on misdemeanor probation for failure to comply with an injunction to prevent child abuse.

A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.