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RCMP working on cat killer profile

A poster for missing “Kitty” along Selkirk Avenue, just west of 222nd Street. - Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS
A poster for missing “Kitty” along Selkirk Avenue, just west of 222nd Street.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS

Mounties are working with the SPCA on a profile of the person behind a spate of cat mutilations in Maple Ridge.

The investigation into the deaths remains active, but the SPCA is unable to share specific details about it to protect its integrity.

The RCMP are also trying to extract human DNA from the remains.

“We don’t want to jeopardize the outcome,” said SPCA spokesperson Lorie Chortyk.

“But we can say that the B.C. SPCA is working with the Ridge Meadows and Langley RCMP and that the SPCA has the support of the RCMP’s Behavioural Science Group to track and analyze the reports we receive.”

In the past year, 24 cats have been discovered mutilated in Maple Ridge, but the SPCA is now investigating similar incidents in Mission, Port Coquitlam and across the Fraser River in Langley.

Necropsies done on cats killed in November 2011 and March 2012 found the injuries were caused by a sharp instrument, not by a predator.

The SPCA isn’t ruling out that a coyote could have caused a few of the deaths, because attacks can look similar. But it fears many of the felines died at the hands of a disturbed person.

Cat heads have been found outside a school, placed on a person’s porch and in a plastic bag. A tail was found under a missing cat poster, while another was tacked to a fence.

Those acts are unlikely to be the work of a coyote or dog, Chortyk said last week.

“At this point, we just don’t know if it is one person – we are expanding the investigation next week,” she added.

“We do have to be careful about how much information we share or we will jeopardize the investigation.”

Dr. Melinda Merck, a veterinary forensic expert, arrived in B.C. on Tuesday and was expected to begin necropsies on the cats Wednesday afternoon.

A renowned animal crime scene specialist from Atlanta, Merck investigated the Whistler sled dog killings and helped build a case against NFL player Michael Vick for his involvement in a dog-fighting ring.

She frequently testifies as a forensic expert for animal cruelty cases around the U.S.

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