MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Panola County man is believed to be hiding in Memphis more than a year after investigators say he beat his girlfriend and left her to die.
"He's just out there like a predator looking for the next female victim," Investigator Terry Smith, with the Panola County Sheriff's Department, said.
Barbara Hamilton and Antonio Carter have known each other for most of their lives. Hamilton says when they first met, he was a different person.
'He started out real nice."
She says Carter's demeanor quickly changed and he started beating her.
Police say in 2015 Carter attacked her with a box cutter, causing her to lose sight in one of her eyes.
"He cut me completely across the black pupil," Hamilton said. "He said, 'Your eye is bleeding.' And I walked in the bathroom and looked and blood was just gushing out of my eye."
Panola County Sheriff Deputies arrested and charged Carter with assaulting Hamilton. But when the case finally made it to court, Hamilton says she asked the judge not to send the father of her two children to prison.
"I was really a fool in love. I've been like that ever since I've been with him. Everybody's been telling me to leave him alone."
Hamilton now admits that was one of the biggest mistakes she's made in her life - one that almost cost her her life.
She says not long after Carter was released from jail, he was hitting and punching her again.
Panola County deputies say it's what Carter did to Hamilton in October 2016 that has the U.S. Marshals on his trail. Investigators say Carter lured Hamilton to a shed in Courtland, Mississippi and held her for hours against her will.
"He basically would not let her leave. He held her down. And according to her, forced her to have sex with him," Investigator Smith said.
Hamilton says when she refused to have sex with him, he beat her with a stick, punched and hit her with his fist and threatened her life with a shovel. She was forced to stay in the small shed all night before he released her.
Her family called police, but Carter took off before he could be arrested.
"He's a threat to anybody he comes across - whether it's male or female," Smith said.
If you know where 41-year-old Antonio Perez Carter is hiding, call the Panola County Sheriff's Department at (662)-487-1733. All calls are confidential.