Police: Teens tortured, killed family dog

March 20, 2009 9:09:42 PM PDT
A 15-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy have been arrested in Cinnaminson, New Jersey after police say they tortured and killed a family dog.Police say two boys were riding their bikes in the woods behind New Albany School on Wednesday when they saw wires sticking out of the ground.

When they pulled on the wires, they unearthed the head of a dead dog.

Authorities were called, and uncovered a female black Labrador Retriever, named "Ember," that had been buried in a shallow grave. The wires were attached to the dog's collar.

A necropsy was performed, and it was found the dog had been beaten then shot at point-blank range in the back of the skull by a .22 caliber rifle.

Police identified a 15-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy as the suspects. They were brought to the police station, and officers say both confessed to being involed in the crime.

"They confessed to me yesterday they went behind Albany school. The one kid took a .22 caliber rifle from his grandfather's house, brought it in a guitar case behind the school," said Det. Richard Calabrese of the Cinnaminson Police.

"The one juvenile said the dog was sick and his family couldn't afford to put the dog down," said Det. Calabrese. The detective said, in reality, the dog was merely on antibiotics. He also said this is not the first time the pair has attacked animals.

Police say that Ember belonged to the 15-year-old's family, and say he's the one who shot the dog. Officers add, that teen has been in trouble with the law before for robbery.

"In the interview, they talked about killing other small animals," said Det. Calabrese. "It was more like a power trip than a sense of accomplishment."

The .22 caliber rifle was found in the same wooded area as the dog, in a plastic case and covered with dirt, branches and leaves.

Police believe Ember was killed on February 28th, the same day she was reported missing.

Each teen has been charged with Possession of a Weapon, Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon on School Property, and Cruelty to Animals.

Action News has also learned that the two will be facing two additional charges from the Burlington County Prosecutor's office, for being the leaders of a criminal street gang. Police say those charges are in connection with their membership in an Aryan Nation group.

The 15-year-old teen was taken to the County Juvenile Detention Facility in Pemberton, and the 17-year-old was released to the custody of his mother pending a Juvenile Court hearing.

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