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Search for Thurston County cat killer intensifies after 13th dead cat found

"Purrfect" -- the 13th cat found killed in Thurston County (Family-provided photo)
"Purrfect" -- the 13th cat found killed in Thurston County (Family-provided photo)
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LACEY, Wash. -- Detectives are hoping the finding of a 13th cat killed in Thurston County will actually get them closer to finding whoever is doing this. They say the cat killer took some serious risks by going into a private rural neighborhood where outsiders are easily spotted.

Paul Braget raised the cat from a kitten that was left in his yard. He named her "Purrfect."

"She would go on walks with me," he said. "She was a good cat." But someone walked off with Purrfect either Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

Neighbor Cari Brinlee said her dog went crazy at 3:30 a.m.

"She started barking, not her usual annoying bark, but a very fierce bark," she said.

Detectives said Cari didn't know it, but that's probably when the cat killer got onto her property and left the mutilated remains of Purrfect.

"I should have taken the dog more seriously," she said. "Certainly feels like a violation. I don't feel very safe."

"It's all just very evil and cruel," added her daughter Cassie.

"The guy is sick," said Braget. He speculated Thursday night the cat was his. But that wasn't confirmed until Friday when he was told by a detective.

"I hope they find him. I hope they figure it out," he said. "There are some cameras that caught some things."

His sister Sandra, who lives in the neighborhood, is checking her surveillance system. She saw another cat but no cat killer.

"I think it is horrid," she said. "Somebody is really sick. I don't understand why anybody would even think of doing something like that."

There have been 13 cats killed since the end of January. But the pace appears to be picking up with 10 killed in the last two months. Five of them killed in the last two weeks.

"Pretty brazen by this suspect going close by in disposing and displaying the cat in the vicinity of the owner of the cat," said Thurston County Sheriff's Detective Ben Elkins. He said he wouldn't rule out the possibility the killer is getting a thrill from the publicity, but still wanted stories out there so people will keep an eye out and keep their cats in.

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Anyone with information should call South Sound Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). There is a $36,000 reward.

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