Investigators in Washington believe they have found the 13th corpse of a cat killed by a cold-blooded animal abuser.
A dead cat was found by a homeowner in the town of Lacey on Thursday, and police in Thurston County believe a serial cat killer is to blame, according to KOMO in Seattle.
"She would go on walks with me," Paul Braget, the cat's owner, told KOMO. "She was a good cat."
Representatives from Pasado's Safe Haven, a non-profit based in Sultan, Washington, which works to combat animal cruelty, said most of the victims are left in public places after being killed.
"Investigators believe these cases are linked due to similar mutilations done to the cats' bodies,” the group noted on a poster, which advertises a $36,000 reward for information leading to the killer's arrest.
The dead, mutilated cats have been turning up since February all over Thurston County, according to a New York Times article. The killer appears to have increased his frequency recently, as the majority of the victims were found in August. Two of the victims are pictured above.
The cats' spines were reportedly removed from their bodies. Some were dismembered. Thurston County Animal Services officer Erika Johnson told KCPQ-TV in Seattle that it looks like a scalpel was used in the killings.
A 10-person task force is now on the ground supporting the investigation, according to Pasado’s Safe Haven.
"This person is a sick, callous disgusting psychopath,” Paul DeTray, the person who found the 12th cat, told KOMO. “To say the least, [it's] a little gut-wrenching to see somebody’s beloved pet torn apart like that.”
At least two Facebook groups have been created in hopes of finding justice for the fallen felines. One, entitled “Taking Olympia Back” describes itself as a way for community members “link together and keep eyes and ears open at all times for any cat killer red flags.” Members of that group don’t just operate online. They also have been conducting late-night sweeps of the neighborhoods, according to KOMO.
If caught, the animal killer could face two years in jail for each cat he killed.
[Photos: Provided by Pasado's Safe Haven]