An Arizona man has been arrested in Mohave County and charged with close to 100 counts of animal cruelty after authorities found 184 animals frozen to death in his freezer.
43-year-old Michael Patrick Turland admitted to freezing some of the animals while they were still alive, according to authorities.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Anita Mortensen told BBC that the images from the crime scene were “absolutely disgusting and heart-breaking.” Mortensen said she struggled to view the images. “As an animal lover I was crying just looking at them,” adding that the images have not been released publicly as they are too graphic.
Turland was arrested after a local woman called to report him, saying she had left some snakes with him for what Turland said was breeding, but when the woman attempted to get back into contact with Turland, he was unresponsive. After a few months had passed and she still had not received her snakes back, she called authorities.
She told the police she had been contacted by the owner of Turland’s property, who had gone into his home to clean it out after Turland and his wife moved out and found the freezer full of dead animals, including the woman’s snakes.
Police found dogs, cats, birds, snakes, lizards, rabbits and other animals in the freezer. Ten days later, officers received word that Turland had returned to the home, where they arrested him.
The motive in the case remains unclear, and authorities say they are still searching for Turland’s wife, Brooklyn Beck. Court records do not list an attorney for Turland, but do show he was being held on a $3,000 bond.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WHDH.COM
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