Strushie the cat was found shot in the head with an arrow behind a South Beach hotel. Miami Beach detectives reviewed the hotel’s surveillance system looking for clues and they noticed that footage from that day had been erased, according to the Miami Herald. The police department went to the U.S. Secret Service’s Electronic Crimes Task Force, which specializes in recovering erased data from devices, for help. That led to the arrest of hotel clerk Georgios Lollias, 36, on Wednesday. This week, he admitted to shooting the stray cat twice using a crossbow in April. A woman who regularly fed Strushie found the bleeding cat later that day. It was severely injured and had to be euthanized to stop its suffering.
Lollias has been charged with animal cruelty and tampering with evidence. Strushie was born in an alley, and was fed by the previous hotel owner, according to CBS Miami.
“He was always in the hotel,” Angelo Lanza told CBS Miami. “People would take pictures with him. He was a gentle cat. I can’t even understand why someone would do something like that.”
The death of Strushie prompted an outcry from animal activists and a “Justice for Strushie” Facebook page.
“It is a great relief that we have found some level of justice for Strushie,” said Police Chief Daniel Oates in a statement. “This was a horrific act of animal cruelty. I congratulate our detectives on this arrest and the U.S. Secret Service for the critical assistance they provided to us.”