LifestylePets

Actions

'Cat killer' leaves 4 dead in Lake Clarke Shores; could more be in danger?

'In the last 3 weeks, I've lost 4 [cats]' Debbie Hiatt says
Posted at 11:07 PM, Apr 12, 2024

LAKE CLARKE SHORES, Fla. — Police in Lake Clarke Shores have launched an investigation after they confirmed three to four cats were recently found dead.

Investigators said the cats appeared to have been shot and were found in bodies of water near the Carambola Road and Carambola Circle crossroads.

"They went missing, and they never reshowed. I was hoping I'd get some type of closure," Debbie Hiatt, the owner of some of the cats that were found dead, said. "Two at Christmas time, and then three right in a row. In the last three weeks, I've lost four."

Hiatt said her home has been a sanctuary for cats that need care until she can find them an owner.

Concerned resident Debbie Hiatt says she has lost multiple cats since Christmas.
Concerned resident Debbie Hiatt says she has lost multiple cats since Christmas.

"I think that what happens is they get shot in the back, it renders them paralyzed and they get thrown in the canal," Hiatt said. "I'm worried about the one that's outside. Every time I bring her in, she finds a way out."

Lake Clarke Shores police confirm multiple cats were found dead the same way and are investigating after other cats along Carambola Road were reported missing.

"(Neighbors should) try to do their best to keep their animals inside. I know it's really hard with cats," Mike Bredeweg, whose cat named Grey has been missing since April 1, said.

Bredeweg has been putting up "missing cat" signs throughout his neighborhood, as well as warning signs to let pet owners know of what they call the Caramnbola Cat Killer.

Mike Bredeweg said his cat vanished on Monday.
Mike Bredeweg said his cat vanished on Monday.

"This isn't your only cat right?" WPTV reporter Joel Lopez asked.

"No, we've got two more," Bredeweg said.

"Are you concerned for those?" Lopez asked.

"Yeah, now we're paranoid because the youngest one wants to bolt out the door every time we get it open," Bredeweg said.

He said his family rescued their cat Grey three years ago, and they said their pet always comes home before the end of the night.

Mike Bredeweg's cat Grey disappeared earlier this month.
Mike Bredeweg's cat Grey disappeared earlier this month.

He suspects Grey may have been the latest victim of the Carambola Cat Killer.

"I wake up to his meow, and I think he's here," Bredeweg said. "For them to be taken, it feels just like a human would be taken from you."

Lake Clarke Shores police said they have a person of interest, but the case is still under investigation.

They said whoever is responsible could face animal cruelty charges, and more depending on the firearm involved in killing the cats.

"We gotta resolve it," Breneweg said. "We gotta find a way to catch the person that's doing this."