Kent police are investigating after a woman told them she killed her dog and cat by strangling them before setting them on fire in her home on April 17, Police Lieutenant Mike Lewis said on Tuesday.
“This is a terrible, terrible incident,” he said.
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According to court records, the 25-year-old woman is charged with two cases of first-degree animal cruelty and an arrest warrant has been issued against her. Lewis said the crime charges are likely to be raised. The record courier does not name the woman because it is believed that she is suffering from a mental crisis.
“We felt she needed screening for psychological problems or mental health concerns,” said Lewis.
Shortly after 5:30 p.m. on April 17, Kent police officers responded to the woman’s home for the fourth time in less than 24 hours after family members reported they had gone inside and the woman was covered in soot. The woman said she killed her animals, a dog and a cat, and burned their bodies. Officers found the remains of at least one animal by the campfire next door. Lewis said the woman told police she killed the dog and cat to get them out of their misery due to injuries, but Lewis said the police had no evidence that the animals were injured.
Lewis said police negotiated with the woman multiple times in the 24 hours leading up to the two pets’ deaths. The first time, around 7pm on April 16, someone called the Kent police and expressed concern about the woman who may have a mental health problem. When the police replied, the woman took her dog to the apartment complex where she lives and said she was fine and had nothing to worry about.
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Hours later, a neighbor told the police that the woman was going door to door and telling people that she was looking for a friend around 3:30 a.m. on April 17th. The neighbor said the woman threw tires in his campfire and tells him she likes to burn garbage. At that point, officers convinced the woman to speak to a doctor or mental health professional, and police took her to Portage Medical Center at the university hospitals to be released before being examined at Coleman Professional Services in Ravenna has been. The officer filled out an emergency report to get treatment for the woman. She was later released.
The police were called again shortly after 11 a.m. on April 17 when an acquaintance of the woman told the police that the woman had spoken to a male neighbor in the middle of the night who she had never met. The acquaintance feared that the woman was not sensible and may plan to harm herself. An officer arrived to find the woman who was tossing some of her belongings out the front door, but she told the officer that she was in a good mood and cleaning and had no intention of harming herself. An officer was aware of the previous calls, but according to the report, the woman showed the officer that he was firing UHPMC paperwork from 7:30 a.m., and the woman said the doctor told her she was fine and she was going home could return.
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The police offered her a ride back to the hospital to speak to a psychologist, but she declined, saying she would be fine. The officers had no reason to sign her against her will, and she was told to call the police if she needed anything.
After the last call to tell police she killed her pets, Kent Police took the woman back to UHPMC and a second emergency order was carried out by an officer. She was then taken to a Youngstown mental health facility and will be detained after her release.
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.