13th cat found mutilated, killed in Thurston County

August 30 update: A 13th mutilated cat was found Thursday, the Thurston County Sheriff's Office confirmed.

August 29 update: A major crimes task force in Thurston County is following hundreds of tips after another cat was found mutilated Tuesday, bringing the total number of cats killed to 12.

Investigators say a worker cutting grass in a field off Pacific Avenue found the animal.

August 24 update: Two more cats were found mutilated and killed in Thurston County on Wednesday, bringing the total of cats killed to 11.

On Wednesday morning, deputies found a mutilated cat in the Land Yacht Harbor Community located on Steilacoom Road SE.

The cat's owner was located and notified.

Later that evening, another cat was found mutilated in the 500 block of School Street SE on the grounds of the Andrews United Methodist Church.

The owner of that cat is not known.

A Thurston County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes detective was assigned to these cases Thursday.

The reward for information has increased to $30,000. If you know anything, call (360) 352-2510.

August 21 update: 

A ninth mutilated cat has been found in Thurston County.

The cat's owners found the body laid out in the open on Lilly Road in Olympia Monday.

The cat was an 11-year-old black family pet named Midnight.

Tuesday, a veterinarian examined the cat and determined the injuries are consistent with the eight other cats recently killed in the area.

Investigators said there's no question these animals are being killed by a human.

"These animals are all being displayed. It's almost like a trophy, I've said it's almost like a arsonist. Where they light the fire and come back to the scene to watch the reactions. These animals are always being left in busy, public areas for people to find it,” said Erika Johnson, Thurston County Cruelty Investigator.

Right now, the reward still stands at $21,000, but it's likely to go up soon.

If you know anything, call Thurston County Animal Services.

Earlier story:

A beheaded kitten was found in Lacey Wednesday, Aug. 15, bringing the total number of mutilated cats found in Thurston County to eight.

“He or she is displaying these cats after they're mutilated, so that's obviously some sort of sick perverse pleasure,” said Thurston County Animal Control cruelty investigator Erika Johnson.

Johnson said it takes a sick person to kill and dismember helpless animals.

“Not only does this person have to be indifferent to suffering of an animal, but I think it's a pretty dark mind when you resort to something like this and you actually carry it out,” she said.

The kitten's body was found in the Clearbook community. It's the same spot where three other mutilated cats were found in February.

The cat killings have put this community on edge.

"It's historically been found that people who abuse humans in one way or the other have started out on animals,” said Johnson.

Steve Fogg is a former King County prosecuting attorney. He spent years putting murderers behind bars  and echoes Johnson's claims.

“I’ve prosecuted a number of psychopaths and killers, and one thing that is shockingly common, but not common across the rest of the world, is animal abuse,” he said.

Police have hundreds of tips, and they hope one of them cracks this case.

Investigators are searching for the kitten’s owner.

The reward for information leading to an arrest is now $21,000.

Read an earlier KIRO 7 story here.

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