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Reward offered in finding cats' killer

Kittens found mutilated behind apartment complex

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – A $1,000 reward is now being offered for information that leads to the arrest of whoever mutilated three kittens.

The cats' remains were discovered Saturday night behind the Holly Cove Apartments on Wells Road in Orange Park.

Investigators believe it was not something done by a wild animal, but a crime committed by a person or persons.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office said when reward money is being offered, it gets people talking. And that's what investigators want so they to find out who's responsible and why the crimes were committed. The latter has neighbors on edge.

"Violence is all around us, and this could be a stepping stone to something more violent," Holly Cove resident Chariti Sloane said. "If someone is going to dehumanize a cat, what is the next step? The next step would be a larger animal, like a dog. Who is to say it won't be a child?"

Terri Colburn found the cats and buried their bodies.

"The bodies were chopped apart. They were not taken apart by an animal," Colburn said. "CSI came and they took pictures of them. She took pictures of the little arms and legs, and they were chopped apart. They were killed."

Colburn is a volunteer at First Coast No More Homeless Pets. The facility said it's working hard to trap some 20 stray cats living near the apartment complex where the killings happened.

Two cats were taken in Monday morning to be spayed or neutered. Facility workers said no cat in the area is safe.

"Someone in the community knows who did this, and they need to step forward to do the right thing and tell the truth," said Rick DuCharme, of First Coast No More Homeless Pets.

Investigators said they're going door-to-door looking for information, and they're trying to pinpoint what motivated the killer.

"My concern is to get this stopped so it doesn't happen again," Detective Ed Harris said.

If you have any information about who killed the cats, call the Clay County Sheriff's Office at 904-213-6600.