18 year old Tyler Hayes Weinman was arrested and charged with the killing mutilating of cats in two South Florida communities.
He is charged with 19 counts of animal cruelty and improperly disposing of an animal body and four counts of burglary related to the deaths.
The teen, whose parents are divorced, lived in both of the communities where the killing occurred. Evidence seized in the case includes the finding of cutting tools in his room, evidence of scratch marks on his body and the use of a tracking device on his car which puts him in a close proximity to the scene of many of the killings.
An arrest report shows Weinman was arrested for marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license on May 15 in a separate incident, just days after authorities said their investigation into the cat killings began. He was also twice arrested as a juvenile, but authorities have not released the details of those cases.
Some people feel he is innocent and is being railroaded by the police...but certainly, the fact that the killing were limited to the two communities in which he lived and occurred during the time he was living in each, is pretty damaging circumstantial evidence.
In most cases, the bodies of the cats were left in plain sight for their families to find - near their homes, on sidewalks, in the front yards, sometimes even on their doorsteps. Despite the arrest, there have two more kills and police suspect the teen may have an accomplice. As such, the evidence in the case has been sealed by court order.
One pet owner, Donna Gleason, said her family cat, Tommy, was "partially skinned" and left dead in her yard.
"Part of his skin was missing underneath ... and part of his legs," she said.
Cats are being urged to stay inside until the person or persons responsible are caught.
If convicted, Weinman could face a sentence of 158 years in prison, State Attorney's Office spokeswoman Terry Chavez said.
"The cat killings weren't something I expected of anyone who's sane," said friend Vincent Warger, 18. "With him he was a nice guy. He was friendly. It's such a violent thing. I just couldn't see it happening from him."
Many people said similar things of Ted Bundy, a serial killer who is well known for his vicious attacks on humans in Florida. It is often noted that serial killers get their start by inflicting pain and suffering on cats before they move on to bigger prey.
Experts say cruelty toward cats, as opposed to other animals, can fulfill a deeper need for control. Cats, unlike dogs, can be more difficult to control. They don't come when they're called and are often more independent, said Dr. Randall Lockwood of The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and author of "Forensic Investigation of Animal Cruelty."
Currently the teen is under house arrest after being fitted with an ankle bracelet for electronic monitoring.
The teens father maintains his son's innocence.
He also expressed his condolences to pet owners who lost their cats. "We are cat owners ourselves. We love our pets," he said.
"We certainly understand the grief that other cat owners are going through, and we sympathize with them, but it is not our son," he added.
"We've seen him play with our pets for years and he's a great kid and he plays with pets and he's fine with them," he said.
This is also seen in serial Killer cases. Bundy for example worked as a crisis center volunteer, and was known for being quite popular and charismatic.
I doubt the police would have arrested this individual without a body of evidence against him. Hopefully, the person or persons responsible for these crimes are caught and are taken out of society at large, before they can move to killing humans.