YONKERS, N.Y. -- A 60-year-old man has been arrested and accused of hanging 25 dead cats from a tree near his Yonkers home in April.
The SPCA of Westchester announced the arrest of Rene Carcamo of Overlook Terrace on Tuesday. The SPCA of Westchester’s Humane Law Enforcement Unit and the Yonkers Police Department made the arrest.
“The SPCA of Westchester is pleased that an arrest has been made in this case, after many months of investigation, interviews and hard work,” said Ernest Lungaro, the director of the Humane Law Enforcement Unit. “We are grateful to the Yonkers Police Department and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office for helping us to make this possible.”
Carcamo is accused of putting the dead felines in plastic bags and hanging them from a tree on Overlook Terrace, as well as leaving some dead cats on the ground that were discovered on April 24.
Many of the cats appeared to have been bludgeoned to death. Click here f or the story in the Daily Voice.
“Last April, like so many Yonkers residents and animal lovers around the world, I was saddened to learn that 25 cats were found dead in our City – the victims of an unconscionable act of violence," said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. "This senseless disregard for the welfare of animals and pets has no place in our society, and it will not be tolerated in Yonkers.”
According to the Yonkers Police Department, Carcamo was charged with violating numerous counts of New York State Environmental Conservation Law (ECL 71-3501) and the Agriculture / Markets Law (AM 353). He was arraigned in Yonkers Criminal Court Tuesday afternoon.
Carcamo, who was not charged in the deaths of the 25 cats, was also charged with two counts of animal cruelty for failing to provide medical attention to two kittens that were found in his possession during the investigation in July. Carcamo was questioned on several occasions by authorities throughout their investigation.
“The SPCA remains saddened by the magnitude and severity of this crime against such innocent animals,” said Shannon Laukhuf, SPCA of Westchester executive director .
“Our focus since the incident has been to help feral and stray cats living in that location by examining them for disease and illness, performing spay and neuter surgeries and seeking a safer place for them to live. We are looking for outdoor facilities such as barns to house the cats.”
A memorial was held for the 25 cats killed in April at C.H. Martin Department Store parking lot at John and James Street on May 10. A 12-member council, the Cat Protection Council of Westchester , was later formed in July to help work with the SPCA to address animal cruelty in the county.
The cats were deemed the Yonkers 25 this past weekend by the Westchester Feline Club, who paid tribute to the cats during 39th annual Westchester Cat Show.
Yonkers was also searching for a cat killer in May 2013 when a $1,000 reward was offered by the Animal Defenders Of Westchester for information on a suspected feline murderer in northeast Yonkers.
Though occult rituals were not Wit believed to be associated with the death of the Yonkers 25, LoHud.com reports that police have asked occult experts to help them investigate animal killings around the county that include decapitated goats and birds.
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