By Joe Beck
Middletown's police chief said Monday that his department has a suspect and is close to making an arrest in the case of a pet cat killed by someone with a bow and arrow last week.
"The case is progressing well, and we do expect an arrest in the immediate future," Chief Philip Breeden said.
Breeden declined to name the suspect, but he confirmed a search warrant had been executed last week in which police recovered "several items of evidence."
Breeden estimated an arrest will be made "within 10 days."
Search warrant documents filed in Frederick County Circuit Court show police executed the warrant on May 29 at 8004 Main St., about 50 yards from where the cat, Tata, died at his owners' home.
The owners of the cat, Gary and Luisa Nichols, have offered a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who shot their cat.
The search warrant documents show police recovered 13 arrows from property at 8004 Main St., several of which were the same type as the arrow found in the cat. Tata was shot in the neck, and the arrow lodged in the lower body where it partially exited, according to the affidavit filed with the search warrant.
The first page of the warrant bears the name Hunter Mundy with the address of the property that was searched. The affidavit written by Detective Steve M. Goldizen states that the property is rented to Nicole N. Boucher "along with an unknown man" who was seen by witnesses shooting a bow and arrows "in the last two weeks and last two months" on the same property.
Goldizen wrote that Luisa Nichols told him she last saw Tata alive on the night of May 26. Goldizen also wrote that several citizens reported later in the week that there had been a party at the Main Street residence May 26 that lasted "until late."
The affidavit also states that Goldizen, standing on a property next to 8004 Main St., saw "an arrow approximately 20 feet away shot into an approximately four foot round circular plywood about two feet from the bottom of the plywood. This arrow had the same marking, brown and tan colors, and same type of feathers as the one found into the dead cat."
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org