Sheriff waiting on autopsy, prosecutor to make arrest in pit bull abuse case

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

MARBLE HILL, Mo. -- The Bollinger County Sheriff is waiting for the county prosecuting attorney's blessing and autopsy results before making an arrest in connection to the pit bull that was allegedly dragged and burned Oct. 21.

Sheriff Leo McElrath said his department has conducted two interviews after receiving promising leads from locals and is waiting on the go-ahead from Bollinger County Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Gray to make any arrests. McElrath said he has a primary suspect he is waiting to arrest.

"The leads have been very promising," McElrath said. "An arrest should happen soon."

The department has been canvassing the county for information about the pit bull, but has not found its owner. A driver on County Road 318 near Marble Hill spotted the dog's charred body and notified authorities Oct. 21.

When deputies went to investigate Saturday morning, they found the dog tied to a fence. The animal's entire left side had been burned, and mud and gravel was embedded in the right side, according to the incident report. The dog's right hind leg was also broken, and evidence of dragging was found on the road.

Gray said he is waiting for autopsy results, which will reveal the dog's sex, breed, color, age and cause of death. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is funding the autopsy, which is taking place in Florida. He said he should receive those results in the next few weeks, but there could be delays.

"With forensics, there's never a set timetable," Gray said.

The results of the autopsy will determine the charges levied against a suspect, Gray said. Gray declined to comment on what type of charges a suspect may face because he is still waiting on the autopsy results.


Pertinent address:

Marble Hill, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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