A 3-year-old Temple Terrace girl was murdered by her own father before he then killed himself.

We’re learning new information about the man’s background.

On Monday afternoon, a woman asked Temple Terrace police to conduct a welfare check on her daughter.

When officers arrived at the home on Skylake Place, they made a gruesome discovery.

Three-year-old Ela Aytes had been murdered by her own father, 48-year-old Ayhan Aytes.

He then committed suicide.

“Anytime a child is involved in a crime, it’s heartbreaking,” said Temple Terrace Police Department spokeswoman Laurie Hayes.

News Channel 8 has learned Aytes was a former communications professor at the University of South Florida.

He was first hired in Dec. 2016 for one semester in a temporary position as a visiting assistant professor in the Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications.

His contract expired in May 2017. He was then brought back in Aug. 2017 for two semesters and his contract expired in May 2018.

Just this past spring, he taught a graduate class on computer games and virtual reality.

After receiving his doctorate from UC San Diego, he shared his research at university conferences around the country.

Ayhan was married to a fellow USF professor, but records show the pair divorced early this year and the two shared equal custody of 3-year-old Ela.

“Our officers have responded to that address eight times in the past years,” said Hayes.

Police were called to his home last Wednesday after Aytes did not give Ela back to his ex-wife.

The family released this statement:

“Our family is devastated at the loss of our beloved Ela. At this point we need time to grieve together and we ask for privacy.”

Officials are not able to disclose the manner of death at this time.

If you have any information to help in this case, call the Temple Terrace Police Department.