A dog was found filleted and skinned weeks before four University of Idaho students were found stabbed to death, leading some locals to fear the two crimes are linked, according to a new report.
Buddy, a 12-year-old mini Australian Shepherd, was found skinned from head to tail on Oct. 21 after his owners, Jim and Pam Colbert, let him out in their backyard in Moscow, Idaho, according to the Daily Mail.
“We called the sheriff’s department and the supervisor said Buddy had been skinned,” his devastated owner Pam, 78, told the news site.
“It was like a deer that someone had chased. They cut his neck and simply skinned him. His little legs had fur and his little face had fur, but the rest of him was just skinned,” she continued.
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The killed dog was found three miles away by Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Ethan Chapin, 20, and Xana Kernodle, 20, who were mysteriously butchered at their home off campus on November 13.
Authorities have not linked the quadruple murders to Buddy’s killing and did not immediately return a request for comment on the matter Monday.
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Pam said Buddy was cut up like a filleted fish: “We found his collar but we didn’t find the fur.”
A Latah County sheriff’s deputy confirmed to the Daily Mail that Buddy’s killer was human.
“Everyone is very nervous and scared,” Pam said of the killing of her dog and the quadruple homicide. “This is something terrible and evil.”
The couple, who have lived in their 10-acre home for 39 years, began locking their doors for the first time since Buddy’s death.
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Pam said after letting Buddy out on October 21, he didn’t come back.
“We let Buddy out and someone must have been waiting out there,” she said. “Bud never leaves the yard, but this person caught Buddy.”
Later that night, Jim, 73, and his friends began searching for the dog and made the grisly find.
“The other side of him was like they had filleted him, like they were about to eat him. It was awful, unbelievable,” Pam said.
In a news conference Sunday, police said they still have not identified any suspects or people interested in the killing of the Idaho students.
They excluded the surviving roommates, the man two of the victims called before the murders, and the driver who drove two of the murdered students home.
Investigators Sunday combed the woods around the King Road home where the students were attacked between 3 and 4 a.m., likely with a single knife, according to Cathy Mabbutt, the Latah County coroner.
She said they may have been ambushed while they were sleeping and some of them had defensive wounds.
Investigators were also seen walking through a white Chevrolet sedan parked in front of the home.
Police initially said the attack on the students was “targeted” and posed no immediate threat to the community.
They have since retracted the statement and urged the public to remain vigilant while the attacker remains at large. Officials have not yet agreed on a motive.
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Moscow police are leading the investigation with the help of the Idaho State Police and the FBI.