Reward reaches $30,000 in case of cat mutilations in Thurston County

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect mutilating cats in Thurston County was increased to $30,000, authorities said Friday.

The Thurston County Sheriff's Office on Thursday assigned a major crimes detective to the investigation of a series of cat killings and mutilations.

This comes as two more cats were found mutilated Wednesday, but it's not yet clear if they were killed by an animal or a person.

There had been nine cat mutilations in the county recently, with seven of them appearing to have been committed by the same killer, authorities said.

Then, two more cats were found mutilated on Wednesday. Thurston County Animal Services said they will know more -- and whether the deaths fit the MO of the previous killings -- after the dead cats are examined by a forensic expert.

In many of the other killings, the cats were sliced open with a knife or scalpel and their spines were removed. The dead animals were then left in a public setting.

In the latest incidents, at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, deputies were sent to investigate a mutilated cat that was found inside of the Land Yacht Harbor Community in the 9100 block of Steilacoom Road SE., the sheriff's office said. The cat's owner was found and notified.

Then at about 6:05 p.m. Wednesday, deputies were sent to investigate a cat mutilation in the 500 block of School Street SE on the grounds of the Andrews United Methodist Church.  The owner of the cat was not found.

At that point, the Thurston County Sheriff's Office said it had assigned a major crimes detective to work with the various, previously assigned investigators from other agencies "to solve this disturbing serial crime spree."

"TCSO is extremely concerned that such a predator/s is lurking and committing such vile crimes within our community," the sheriff's office said in a news release. "TCSO will expend every available resource to solve these serial crimes and bring the perpetrator to justice."

If you have any tips, you can call Thurston County Animal Services at (360) 352-2510. You can donate to Pasado’s reward fund here.

Here's a breakdown of the rewards being offered:

    On Friday, the Humane Society of the United States announced it was offering the $10,000 reward. The organization's Dan Paul said, "These are among the most disturbing and heartbreaking crimes I have ever seen. We hope that anyone with information about the individual or individuals performing these monstrous acts of brutality will come forward.”