Man Finds Puppy Skinned, Mutilated On His Car - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Man Finds Puppy Skinned, Mutilated On His Car

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Warning: this story includes graphic details readers may find difficult to read.

by Adam Ghassemi

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Detectives were working to determine why a puppy was skinned, mutilated and left on a Rutherford County man's car. Police and animal control officials said it was one of the most gruesome cases they've ever seen.

Randall Ward told investigators he was leaving his apartment on Cason Lane in Murfreesboro for work Saturday when he noticed something in a rear wheel well of his Ford Mustang.

"I walked to my car like this, to the trunk - and there was just four paws hanging out," Ward said.

He used gloves to pull out what he first thought was a cat, but was actually a dead puppy. It was almost fully skinned, with its ears cut-off and a possible stab wound.

"It was down to the meat. Just meat. Red meat all over," he said. "It was skinned so much you really couldn't tell what it was. But I mean, just the way it was skinned was so fine and tuned it was like someone took some time to do it."

Rutherford County Pet Adoption & Welfare Services (PAWS) Director Michael Gregory said by phone Monday the case was so rare the carcass was being sent to the University of Florida's forensic program to determine, among other things, if the dog died before or after being skinned. Gregory said photos of the dog's body exist, but are extremely graphic.

Detectives with the Murfreesboro Police Department said this type of crime is typically personal in nature, and hard to solve since Ward has no known enemies.

"This is one of the most cruel cases they've ever seen," said Sgt. Kyle Evans. "Our investigators are left a little puzzled wondering why this animal was placed on this car. Perhaps the wrong car. Perhaps a mistaken identity. There are a lot of questions in this case that still are unanswered."

Until they get answers, Ward said the idea that he may have been targeted didn't bother him, but he can't understand why someone would do something so awful to a small animal.

"What possesses them to do this, because this took time. This didn't just take five minutes to throw together and do this," he said.

Tips that lead to an arrest in the case are eligible for a $1,000 reward. Callers can remain anonymous by calling CrimeStoppers at (615) 893-STOP.

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