Serial cat killer on the loose, remains of 13th feline left in full public view
The killer has been meticulous and careful — they have not been caught on video anywhere — but investigators did find a surgical glove near one of the murdered cats
Officials across Thurston County, Washington are on the lookout for a person they believe is responsible for the mutilation and murder of 13 cats in and around the county. On Monday, the Olympia Police found the 12th dead cat in the region when they responded to a call from the 3800 Block of Pacific Avenue that reported finding another feline corpse. This was not thought to be an isolated incident and was believed to be connected to the other such killings in the area.
That notion was confirmed further when King5 News reported that a 13th cat was found brutalized on Thursday outside the city of Lacey. Despite the Thurston County Join Animal Services, Pasado's Safe Haven, and Washington's Most Wanted offering a $36,000 reward for any information leading to the culprit's capture, leads have been practically non-existent.
The investigators first began to suspect that a serial killer was at work because of the similar nature of each of the killings. The cat would usually be left in public places such as parks and front yards after they're killed, in full view of any resident in the area.
Furthermore, officials say the cases are linked because of how similar the mutilations are on the felines' bodies. A report by the New York Times states that one of the cats found had been surgically slit and laid out for people to see. In some of the other cases, they had been dismembered with their organs laid out next to their body and their spines removed. So far, the murders have taken place in and around Tumwater, Lacey, and Olympia.
Kathy Harrigan's 20-year-old cat Harley was one of the victims. Speaking to USA Today, she said, "He didn't want to be indoors, so (he) lived in our yard. He was deaf and lacked muscle tone; disliked people but came to love my husband and myself, as we loved him." She added, "It is heartbreaking that he was killed and hurt in the way he was."
Animal cruelty investigator Erika Johnson expressed how these murders were nothing like what she's seen before in the field. "As far as the numbers, it's probably the worst I've seen in my career," she said. She also said that she first saw a cat killed in such a way last October, but added that there was an uptick in dead cats found in the area between February and August.
As the frequency of the murders has increased, several police agencies have joined the Thurston County Animal Services in investigating the crimes. Johnson revealed that they're currently following up on every tip that comes in and has urged those living in the county to be vigilant and report suspicious behavior. While the killer has been meticulous and careful — they have not been caught on video anywhere — investigators did find a surgical glove near one of the murdered cats. They managed to glean DNA evidence but have not yet revealed the results of the testing.
Since the crimes seem to be taking place between 11 pm and 6 am, the residents have also been advised to keep all their pets inside their home until a suspect is apprehended.