A dog was found filleted and skinned weeks before four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death, prompting some locals to fear the two crimes are connected, according to a new report.
Buddy, a 12-year-old Mini Australian Shepherd, was found skinned from head to tail on October 21 after his owners, Jim and Pam Colbert, let him out in their Moscow, Idaho, backyard, according to the Daily Mail. .
“We called the Sheriff’s Department and the supervisor said Buddy had been skinned,” his owner, Pamela, 78, told the news site.
“He was like a deer that someone had shot. They cut him around the neck and just skinned him. His little legs had hair and his little face had hair, but the rest of him was just skinned,” she continued.
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The slain dog was found three miles from where Kaylee Goncalvez, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Ethan Chapin, 20, and Xana Kernodle, 20, were mysteriously murdered Nov. 13 at their off-campus home.
Authorities have not linked the quadruple homicide to Buddy’s slaying and did not immediately return a request for comment on the matter Monday.
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Pamela said Buddy had been cut up like you were filleting a fish. “We found his collar, but we didn’t find the skin,” she said.
A Latah County sheriff’s deputy confirmed to the Daily Mail that Buddy’s killer was human.
“Everyone is very nervous and scared,” Pamela said of the murder of her dog and the quadruple homicide. “This is something horrible and evil.“
The couple, who have lived in their 10-acre home for 39 years, began locking their doors for the first time after Buddy’s death.
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Pamela said that after letting Buddy out on October 21, he did not return.
“We let Buddy out and someone must have been waiting there,” he said. “Bud never leaves the yard, but this person grabbed 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 he was filleted like they were about to eat him. It was terrible. Unbelievable,” Pamela said.
At a news conference Sunday, police said they have yet to identify any suspects or persons of interest in the Idaho student murders.
They have ruled out surviving roommates, the man two of the victims called before the murders, and the driver who brought two of the slain students home.
Investigators were combing the woods Sunday surrounding the King Road home, where the students were attacked between 3 and 4 a.m. likely with a single knife, according to Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt.
She said that they may have been ambushed in their sleep and that some of them had defensive wounds.
Investigators were also seen going through a white Chevrolet sedan, which was parked outside the home.
Police initially said the attack on the students was “targeted” and did not pose an imminent threat to the community.
They have since retracted the statement, telling the public to remain vigilant as long as the attacker remains at large. Officials haven’t zeroed in on a motive yet either.
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The Moscow Police Department is leading the investigation with the help of the Idaho State Police and the FBI.