Rock Island Police are investigating an extreme case of animal cruelty, involving the recent murder, gutting and skinning of a pet cat.
Police Chief Richard Landi recently said police are investigating a mutilated cat that was found last week in the College Hill Circle area of Rock Island. The incident is being investigated by Animal Control and Criminal Investigations.
“I am unable to provide further details at this time,” Landi said via email.
The cat’s owner, Steve Havercamp of Rock Island, said Milo’s body was found on the morning of April 28 in the 30and Street and 10and Avenue (near Kavanaugh) and only 40 yards from their home.
Milo was a stray cat who showed up on their doorstep on Christmas Day 2016 and was estimated to be 18 months old at the time. The family was still recovering from the death of their former cat, who was 20, Havercamp said Tuesday. He lives with his wife and adult daughter-in-law, and they have never had other pets.
Milo (a black-and-white tuxedo cat) enjoyed walking around the neighborhood and wasn’t happy just being inside, he said.
“We set up a cat door and he came and went as he pleased, but he would never be gone for more than an hour,” Havercamp said. “He always came back.”
He wandered in an area of about three blocks. “And our neighbors were wonderful, texting me or calling me when they saw him, about his antics and what he was up to,” he said. “He was the neighborhood cat.”
Milo left home for the last time around 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday April 27, and Havercamp was worried when he didn’t return by 8 p.m. posting with Milo’s photo on three Facebook pages dedicated to lost and found animals in the QC area.
Havercamp found him Thursday morning, in a ravine about 40 yards from his house – killed, gutted and skinned. He immediately called the police and they concluded that Milo had been massacred elsewhere, as there was no blood at the site.
“I was so shocked by what I saw,” Havercamp said, noting that the animal control officer he spoke with said it was the worst case of animal cruelty he had ever seen. had seen in 30 years of career.
“He was so shocked by it. He called the detective to do a full investigation because it’s an animal cruelty charge, which is a felony,” he said.
It couldn’t have been done by any other animal, Havercamp said.
“His flesh was cut with a sharp blade which can be seen by the way the flesh was removed, from the sharp edges to the cuts,” he said. “All muscle and tissue has been scraped away from the bone. There are no bite marks; there are no teeth marks and you can see the surgical precision in place.
“There is no doubt about it, that neither the animal control officer, with 30 years of experience, nor the detective investigating – the conclusion was absolute and immediate that it had been done by a human. ”
Havercamp posted the case on Facebook without using his real name. He said he is normally a very private person, but speaks out to make sure that person is caught and caught.
“Only a very sick person, a sadistic person would do something like that and I have to be sure they won’t do it again,” he said. “And I know people who engage in this type of behavior, rarely stop on their own. They tend to turn to even worse crimes.
“We are horrified that someone could act in such a cruel way and do this to an innocent animal.”
“The community online and in my area has been amazing in supporting my family and being committed to finding and pursuing this guy,” Havercamp said. He contacted some local non-profit organizations that work with animals, to encourage them to donate.
If the suspect is caught, the donations would go toward a $1,000 reward offered for the suspect’s capture, but if not caught, the donations would go to the nonprofit, he said. declared.
If you’d like to contribute to the reward fund or donate to a charity that helps stray animals, Havercamp suggested King’s Harvest No Kill Shelter – which sets up a GoFundMe page for the reward and also accepts general donations.
King’s Harvest is a non-profit charity that assists both homeless and abandoned pets and helps them find homes.
In the event the criminal is caught, GoFundMe funds will be paid to the person who provided the information leading to the arrest and conviction. If the offender is not caught, the funds would be donated to King’s Harvest, Havercamp said. Its website is https://kingsharvestpetrescue.org.
“When you look for these type of people who capture, kill and mutilate animals, they are usually isolated from the community, feel helpless and engage in criminal behavior as a kind of sick therapy, a sick thrill for them,” Havercamp said. . “The statistics show that they never stop on their own or rarely stop on their own, and they just keep getting worse.”
According to the FBIanimal abuse is strongly correlated with interpersonal, interhuman violence. Serial killers often torture or kill small animals from an early ageand men who commit child abuse or domestic violence very frequently also harm pets.
“If someone hurts an animal, there’s a good chance they’ll hurt a human as well,” said John Thompson, deputy executive director of the National Sheriff’s Association, in a 2016 interview.
The Rock Island case has not yet been listed on the Quad Cities Website Crimestoppers.
Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to call police at 309-732-2677, or Havercamp directly at 563-940-3831.