A dog was found filleted and skinned weeks before four University of Idaho students were found stabbed to death, leaving some locals to fear that the two crimes are connected, according to a new report.
Buddy, a 12-year-old mini Australian shepherd, was found skinned head to tail Oct. 21 after his owners, Jim and Pam Colbert, let him out in the backyard in Moscow, Idaho, according to the Daily Mail.
“We called the sheriff’s department and the supervisor said that Buddy had been skinned,” his shaken owner, Pam, 78, told the news site.
“It was like a deer that someone had hunted. They cut him around the neck and just skinned him. His little legs had fur and his little face had fur, but the rest of him was just skinned,” she continued.
The slain dog was found three miles from where Kaylee Goncalves, 21, Madison Mogen, 21, Ethan Chapin, 20, and Xana Kernodle, 20, were mysteriously slaughtered Nov. 13 in their off-campus home.
Authorities have not linked the quadruple homicide to Buddy’s killing and did not immediately return a request for comment on the matter Monday.
Pam said Buddy had been cut like a filleted fish: “We found his collar, but we didn’t find the pelt.”
A Latah County Sheriff’s Deputy confirmed to the Daily Mail that Buddy’s killer was human.
“Everybody is very nervous and scared,” Pam said of her dog’s killing and the quadruple homicide. “This is something awful and evil.”
The couple, who have lived in their home on 10 acres for 39 years, started locking their doors for the first time after Buddy’s death.
Pam said that after letting Buddy out Oct. 21, he did not return.
‘We let Buddy out and somebody must have been waiting out there,” she said. “Bud never leaves the yard, but this person grabbed Buddy.”
Later that night, Jim, 73, and his friends started searching for the dog and made the grisly find.
“The other side of him was as though they had filleted him like they were about to eat him. It was terrible, unbelievable,” Pam said.
In a press conference Sunday, police said they still have not identified any suspects or persons of interest in the slayings of the Idaho students.
They have ruled out the surviving roommates, the man whom two of the victims called before the murders and the driver who drove 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 they may have been ambushed in their sleep and 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 that the attack on the students was “targeted” and posed no imminent threat to the community.
They have since walked back the statement, telling the public to remain vigilant as long as the assailant remains at large. Officials also have not zeroed in on a motive yet.
The Moscow Police Department is spearheading the investigation with help from the Idaho State Police and FBI.