A man killed more than a dozen cats he bought online by chopping their heads off and stomping on them, police believe.
Kaine Louzader, 20, has been charged with two counts of felony animal abuse by torture or mutilation.
His arrest comes after dead cats and kittens were found littered close to where he lives with his grandparents in Missouri, USA.
Just four days before Louzader was arrested, an unnamed witness spotted a man close to where he lives dumping a dead cat out of a bag filled with water.
According to the witness the man was driving a car matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle.
When officers arrested Louzader they found scratch marks up his arms which he claimed were inflicted by an elderly woman at the hospital where he works, St. Charles County Sheriff deputy Sgt. Jeff Ochs reported.
After deputies pointed out that marks didn’t appear to match that of a human, Louzader came clean, the Post-Dispatch reported.
Police said he told them that he had bought dozens of cats online before strangling them and stamping on their heads.
His venue of choice was his grandparent’s bathtub or the patio behind their house.
Once the felines were dead he mutilated their bodies, chopping off their heads, hacking off their limbs, or both.
So far only the bodies of one cat and three kittens have been recovered.
News of the alleged crimes shocked Louzader’s neighbours.
“If someone’s capable of doing that to an animal, who knows what they could do?” Doug Custer told Fox 2 Now.
“I can’t imagine what kind of a sick person would do that to an animal.”
One of the mutilated cats was found by next door neighbour Tim Weber’s children.
At first they assumed it had been attacked by an animal and decided to bury it.
They went on to find two more in their yard.
Weber described the alleged crimes as “shocking” and “disturbing”.
In Missouri animal abuse is punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,000 (£1,536).
The charge can be upgraded if a person is found to have tortured or mutilated the animals alive however, upping the sentence to four years behind bars.
He is being held at the Missouri county jail on a $50,000 (£38,400) bond.