ST. PETERSBURG - Four kittens found trapped in a freezer may have gotten there, in part, due to a double shooting that happened a day earlier.
Three of the four kittens survived, but one froze to death.
On Sunday, investigators got a frantic 9-1-1 call from Eve Mulder, who was hanging out with Rodney Blanchard at his St. Petersburg trailer.
"I went to go get him a beer out of the freezer," she said. "Of course there was no beer in the freezer and I heard kittens meowing."
The kittens were shivering and barely alive. She says Blanchard wouldn't let her remove the kittens so she left and called for help.
"They were in the zip-lock bags and they were closed," she said. "Yeah, he was trying to kill them."
Investigators believe Blanchard put the kittens in the freezer because he had no interest in caring for them.
The kittens belong to the other two who live at the trailer -- Rodney's son, Damian Blanchard, and roommate, Francis Bahr.
But in a strange twist, they are in jail accused of a double shooting the day before involving Rosa Pereira and her new boyfriend, David Sharp.
"He wanted to date her, but I guess she didn't want to date him and she's got that boyfriend and he was jealous," said Ramon Santiago, Pereira's cousin.
He described the dispute as a love triangle. Both shooting victims are still in the hospital.
Meanwhile, the three six-week old kittens are slowly getting back to normal.
The SPCA says a few more minutes in that freezer, and they would have been dead.
"He made a statement to the effect of 'I don't know what I was thinking,'" said Cecilia Berreda, PIO for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. "When the deputy pressed him on that he said that he put the kittens in time out."
Now Rodney Blanchard is heading to time out on charges of animal cruelty.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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