Reward grows to $5,500 in cat mutilation case; owner plans to order DNA test

SPRINGDALE – The reward being offered for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for mutilating a Springdale woman’s cat has been increased to $5,500. The cat’s owner also said she plans to have a forensic test done on the possible DNA found underneath the cat’s claws.

“The Humane Society of Utah matched my $2,500 (reward), and friends have added another $500,” the cat’s owner, Sherry Teresa, said. “That should get someone talking!”

The Humane Society offered the reward money to assist in capturing those responsible for mutilating Teresa’s cat Khepri on Aug. 16.

The potential case of animal cruelty has had the Anasazi Plateau neighborhood in Springdale on high alert since the cat was found severed in half. Teresa said her cat was trapped, drained of blood and surgically cut in half, then his heart and lungs were removed before he was left outside her home.

Mysterious brutality and mutilation

When Khepri, who normally wakes Teresa up in the morning, was nowhere to be found on the morKheprining of Aug. 17, Teresa said she finally discovered her cat’s brutalized body outside her home. Teresa, a wildlife biologist, said after closely looking at her cat’s body, she knew the mutilation could not have been done by another animal.

“I looked at him, and I just thought, ‘This is so odd, because he’s not eaten on,’” she said. “He was cut in half, heart and lungs were gone, and there wasn’t a drop of blood anywhere, and he was laid there with his front paws crossed over each other.”

Teresa said she has seen a lot of animal kills, and typically when another animal has done the killing, you don’t find the carcass because the animal has carried if off to eat, but Khepri’s remains hadn’t been disturbed at all.

“It was like he had been gently laid there,” she said. “He wasn’t thrown, he wasn’t in an odd angle – it’s like, if he was alive, he would have been sleeping.”

Teresa’s suspicions were confirmed by Dr. Casey Wittwer after she took Khepri’s body to Zion Veterinary Clinic in Hurricane Monday morning. She said Wittwer told her, “This cat’s been killed by a human.”

Upon closer examination

The report from Khepri’s autopsy, performed by Wittwer, said all of the cat’s organs had been removed except for the colon, and there was no blood pool and no punctures on the remaining body.

Wittwer wrote in the report:

The square section of body missing appears to have been cut with surgical precision. The lines are too smooth to have been a wild animal. The remaining bone fragments from the ribs and pelvis are fairly smooth.

Due to the symmetry of the cuts and the straight lines, I suspect a knife or saw was used. The broken jaw and damaged nails are probably from the captor hitting Khepri and him fighting back.

Springdale Police Sgt. Garen Brecke said the case is under investigation, and the Springdale Police Department has never seen anything like this in the area before.

“We have cats going missing because we have wildlife in the area – we live in the mountains,” Brecke said. “But no, we have not ever found a carcass before.”

Brecke said he doesn’t think the Police Department would perform DNA testing in an animal cruelty case.

“I will be keeping the DNA samples,” Teresa said, “and will have it tested myself.”

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Springdale Police Department at 435-772-3434.

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Email: kscott@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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17 Comments

  • Bobber August 20, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    If I was the owner, I’d keep my doors locked tight and sleep lightly cuz u never know…

    • Diana August 21, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      little too late now!!! smart comment!

  • San... August 20, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    What would the testing cost? Can some of those funds be diverted to cover the costs? Can the owner start a ‘pitch in account’ online for us to contribute to….I’m down for $5.

    My instinct is that this was a religious ceremony performed by some sort of cult. Every pet owner in the area is probably locked-and-loaded right now. They won’t do it again.

  • Koolaid August 20, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the culprit was some church kid.

    • The Rest Of The Story August 21, 2014 at 12:48 am

      Eh, I’d say probably a bishop of a local ward.

  • annie August 20, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Sounds to me like someone knew this was her cat and has something against her.

  • BG August 21, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Springdale utah. Where the strange and bizarro is the norm

    • Dan Mabbutt August 21, 2014 at 9:11 am

      Sounds like pure envy to me!

  • Lh August 21, 2014 at 8:48 am

    There is a very wicked and deranged person/group of people that need to be caught. I would chip in also to help find out who did this. Also why does every story have to have a Mormon slammer comment? You act like fools when the issue is about the insane act of this pet owners cat and the creep behind it. Where do I donate?

  • San... August 21, 2014 at 8:54 am

    You know what guys, no one is immune to tragedy. If you are going to joke about something this horrible then be sure to make a mental note of it. When karma finds you, then you can read people’s opinions on a faceless online newspaper’s comment section. It takes a total coward to joke about torturing an animal.

  • EL JEFE August 21, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Adult abusers started by abusing and torturing animals. Whoever did this needs to be caught ASAP! Cannot let this demented individual progress onto human victims.

  • Amy August 21, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Sherry, you should definitely do the DNA test. You have the means and the knowledge. Some around you is a very sick psycho! Do you think he was used by a Vet Student? Also what do the crossed over Paws mean? Someone that puts that much thought and detail into this cruelsome act is highly dangerous! I think the Police Dept should def help you with the DNA test. This is not a normal animal cruelty case. This is a freaking psycho walking the streets! Hope an accidental bullet from the Cops will hit him. He’d deserve it!!! God this makes me sick to my stomach! I would look close around you. And if you don’t own a gun, get one!
    Please keep us updated on this case.

  • Zonkerb August 21, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    When you find the people or person who is responsible for this. do the same thing to them

  • Aaron August 22, 2014 at 8:53 am

    This is a definite sign of a future serial killer right, here in the making, we have a hometown serial right in are backyard what a way to put saint George on the map once this guy really does something much worse.

  • Red Rocker August 22, 2014 at 9:33 am

    I agree that this is the work of a sadist, disturbed person. Not likely a cult. I worked at a maximum security mental hospital for the criminally insane, Animal cruelty is a precursor behavior. Law enforcement should prioritize their search, arrest the perp and the legal system should place them in a psychiatric institution with release decided by a team of forensic experts. Not in a correctional facility with a sentence decided by a judge.

  • MarkyP September 13, 2014 at 1:28 am

    This happens all over the world quite often. It is the exact same story. Always no blood, organs removed, surgical precision. This is not some sick personal joke but a ongoing worldwide agenda. the only reason these stories dont get more noticed is because they usually dont offer rewards or do an investigation. But this happens ALOT. Something weird going on here. It seems like aliens or a sick cult or something. Lots of cases like this one found on sites like this one http://www.earthfiles.com

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