Two teens were arrested for killing and skinning several neighborhood pets. Texas authorities said Mark Ainsworth, age 17, and Delaney Walters, age 18, are charged with five counts of animal cruelty. The teens are accused of killing the animals in what was described as a "cult-style manner."
Authorities made the grisly discovery during an investigation into a missing pet. An 8-year-old Australian Cattle dog, named Camo, mysteriously vanished near County Road 769. Investigators and the dog's owner were concerned, as they heard rumors that Camo was stolen by members of a cult.
As reported by Fox8 News, investigators with the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office eventually discovered the dog hanging from a tree. Sheriff Jason Bridges describes the disturbing scene:
"The animal went through a lot of torture... It was skinned. Some of the parts were removed."As the dog was obviously tortured, authorities determined Camo was likely killed in a "satanic-style ritual." KETK NBC reports that detectives eventually identified Ainsworth and Walters as suspects.
During a police interview, both suspects admitted stealing the dog and killing him during a satanic ritual. They also admitted killing a cat and three kittens in a similar manner. Authorities said they recovered evidence of the heinous crimes, as the teens filmed and took photos during the rituals.
Following their confession, the teens were arrested. Ainsworth and Walters are charged with five felony charges of "cruelty to non-livestock animals." They were jailed and are currently being held without bond.
Sheriff Jason Bridges said the entire situation is heartbreaking:
"We all love animals. We all love him and they weigh heavy on our hearts and to see what these animals went through and the way they were tortured is sad."Camo's owner said he was a rescue dog, who became a beloved member of her family. She said Camo "had a heart of gold... he loved children very much... he was very smart." The unidentified woman said Camo was protective of the children, walking with them to the bus stop every morning.
Torturing and killing pets is incomprehensible. It is specifically disturbing when the crime is committed by adolescents and teens. Licensed counselor Debra Burton believes the teens may be mentally ill:
"Sometimes it shows up in children or adolescence and it is what we call conduct disorder and that's one of the criteria; aggression towards people or animals."Although Burton said conduct disorder is simply an example, as she has not interviewed the teens who were arrested for killing the neighborhood pets.
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