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Still no leads in parish-wide cat killings

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BATON ROUGE - Animal Control is investigating recent cat mutilations in East Baton Rouge Parish, but say they have no leads so far.

Eryn Lackett's beloved cat "Spike" went missing back in April. A few weeks later, she received some very shocking news.

"I actually received a call ... from a person claiming to have found the remains of my cat in some woods in a remote area of Baton Rouge," Lackett said.

Lackett's cat was beheaded, identified by its owner through the rabies tag. She received pictures of her cat through text messages.

"I saw that the cat was indeed my cat," Lackett said, "and he was dead, and that he had suffered some bad things."

Over the last year, Animal Control has investigated a number of cat mutilations in the Shenandoah area. In October 2017, surveillance cameras captured a man walking on the roof of a Starring Lane shopping center dragging something. Later, someone discovered a cat hanging from the back of the building.

Animal Control Director Hilton Cole said they have not closed the investigations. They are getting assistance from city police, the District Attorney's office, and the Humane Society.

"They came up, they visited," Cole said, "they took some evidence and had it analyzed and they deduced that there was no probable cause to charge the suspect with a crime."

Animal Control tried linking the person of interest from the surveillance video of the cat hanging to other cat mutilation investigations.

"We tried to draw a link between that and what was happening in the Shenandoah area," Cole said, "and we couldn't quite get the link. It may have been a random case by another person."

The lack of answers has cat owners frustrated.

"It is very frustrating," Lackett said. "I think the person who's doing this knows how to play the system. They know how to stay under the radar and to stay undetected, and I think the community of Baton Rouge, we are more powerful than ever."

If you have any information, you are asked to contact the East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control.

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