Deer found decapitated in park

November 25, 2008 2:02:06 PM PST
Officers make a horrifying discovery at Bear Creek Park in west Houston. Someone broke into an animal cage and decapitated a deer. That deer was part of a larger exhibit at the park.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Sometime overnight someone cut a hole in fence large enough for a person to crawl through it. Investigators say the deer was tame enough that someone could approach and entice the animal without any problems.

At this point there are no known suspects identified. Authorities have no motive for the killing at this time.

A groundskeeper found the carcass this morning. The deer's head and antlers had been removed. Investigators believe the deer had been killed with a single instrument.

The buck was very well-known to park goers. The animal had been at the park for the past seven years. Investigators now have a warning to the killer.

"We lost a dear friend," said Chief J.J. Laine with the Precinct 5 Harris County Constable's office. "That animal was a friend to thousands of people that would come visit it. We've had people showing up today to see the deer in utter disbelief that you would do this. We're going to find you. We're not going to spare any resources in finding you."

A bloodhound searching the park grounds picked up a scent that has now been entered as evidence. Skin, tissue and hair samples have been taken from the slain animal. Local taxidermy shops have asked to be on the lookout for any clues in this killing.

Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information called in to the 713-222-8477 (TIPS) hotline that leads to the identification, arrest and charging of any suspect in this case. Tips may be submitted online at www.crime-stoppers.org as well. All tipsters remain anonymous.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office will pursue charges of felony animal cruelty against any suspect identified and/or arrested in this case.

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