Hunt is on for Lehigh dog killer

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help identifying and tracking down an unknown suspect who has poisoned and killed at least three dogs in Lehigh Acres.

The incidents started on Christmas Day when a witness noticed a male laying out trays of dog food near a friend’s house on Leroy Avenue.  Upon inspection, several cans of dog food in a clear liquid were left in the tins. 

The homeowner threw the food out, only to find additional trays of food four days later on December 29th.  She again threw the food out.  However, that evening, her one-year-old hound mix named Ruby became violently ill. 

After nursing her for several days, Ruby passed away on Thursday, January 9.

The second confirmed incident occurred on Tuesday, January 7on Grayson Avenue.  The victim said he left the family’s five-year-old pitt bull named Goliath in their fenced back yard, as they routinely did. 

At 10:30 a.m., Goliath was his usual healthy self, but when the victim returned home at 3 p.m. that day, he found Goliath passed away in the backyard

Then, on Wednesday, January 8, a one-year-old pitt bull named Nala got loose from her property in the neighborhood of E. 21st Street for a short time, but upon returning home, she became suddenly ill and passed away. 

According to the family veterinarian, Nala had a high level of an unknown substance in her liver.  It is suspected that the perpetrator may be using antifreeze to poison the animals.

“It is of the utmost importance that we find this suspect immediately,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator.  “Someone is maliciously killing family pets and we need to identify and apprehend him before any other dogs fall prey to this guy.”

Detectives believe that the same person is responsible for all three reported deaths.  He is described as a light-skinned male, 5’8” – 5’9”, with a closely trimmed beard and driving a newer dark green Corvette. 

Anyone who has seen anyone who fits this description is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).  All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $3,000.  Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or on the P3Tips mobile app.