Two decapitated dogs were found in Mechanicsville on Sunday morning, and the St. Mary’s sheriff’s office is still looking for the culprit.
Police responded at 10:04 a.m. to the 40400 block of Parlett Morgan Road off New Market Turner Road after a neighbor reported finding the bodies of the headless black Labrador retrievers, each weighing more than 80 pounds, lying in a nearby wooded area.
Joy Wilson, St. Mary’s supervisor of animal control, said she’s seen something like this “in other jurisdictions I’ve worked in, but not here.”
The sheriff’s office said animal control determined the dogs had been discarded within the last 48 hours of when they were found on Sunday. Jason Babcock, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, said no one is sure yet how the dogs died.
“It’s hard to say what the sequence was because when they were found. They were already in an advanced state of decomposition,” he said. He added that there was not a lot of blood, and it is unlikely the dogs were killed in the same place they were found.
“We are not aware of who the dogs belong to,” Babcock said. He added that police canvassed the area to see if the dogs belonged to any neighbors, but no one in the immediate area claimed them.
Babcock said the heads of the dogs were not near the bodies and could not be found in the area.
The spokesperson said the dogs were checked for identification and scanned for microchips, but none were detected. He added that an autopsy will not be conducted because they are animals.
Babcock originally stated that animal control took care of the dogs’ remains. However, on Tuesday morning he said animal control was in the process of disposing them, but a neighbor collected the animals’ remains and had them cremated.
But a sheriff’s office release Tuesday afternoon said that the dogs, both male, were taken by the agency to a local veterinarian for an assessment before being transported to Virginia Tech for a necropsy.
Steve Walker, the county’s director of emergency services, said the dog bodies were first reported on Sunday and authorities were “immediately on arrival.” He said once emergency services and the sheriff’s office determined the bodies were no longer needed as evidence, the next step was to remove them.
Walker said when officials went to remove the bodies on Monday, they were gone. He was told they were removed by “somebody in the community who is working to get them cremated. I don’t know the person’s name.”
It was unclear Tuesday afternoon how the sheriff's office had recovered the bodies.
Babcock called the incident “horrific” and said the sheriff’s office is definitely concerned.
A press release from the sheriff’s office sent Monday morning stated anyone with information on the owners of the dogs, or anyone with information on this case, should contact a sheriff’s deputy. However, Tuesday morning, an updated release stated people should contact sheriff’s office Detective Edward Vogt at 301-475-4200, ext. *8145, or by email at Edward.Vogt@stmarysmd.com.
“This is a very focused investigation,” the updated release stated.
Citizens can remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637), according to the sheriff’s office. “Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment,” the release stated.