Yonkers Police arrested a 60-year-old Yonkers man Tuesday on charges related to the discovery of 25 dead cats found hanging from trees in a vacant lot near the Hudson River in April.
The suspect, Rene Carcamo, is accused of illegally disposing the 25 animals by putting them in plastic bags and subsequently hanging them from tree branches in a wooded vacant lot on Overlook Terrace—the street on which Carcamo lives. The charge is classified as an environmental crime.
“That’s what we’re able to prove, that he was hanging them,” Ernest Lungaro, director of enforcement for the SPCA, told the Associated Press Tuesday. It is not clear whether Carcamo is responsible for killing any of the cats, nor is it clear what will happen to the roughly $25,000 initially offered for information leading to an arrest.
Carcamo was also charged with two counts of animal cruelty after failing to provide two sick kittens found in his possession by the SPCA in July with proper medical care.
“The SPCA remains saddened by the magnitude and severity of this crime against such innocent animals,” said SPCA’s Executive Director Shannon Laukhuf, who has been working on the case together with Yonkers Police and Westchester County District Attorney’s Office for several months, according to the Journal News.
The dead cats, which were scattered on the ground as well as in plastic bags, were initially found by Department of Public Works employees who were clearing debris from the vacant lot on April 24. After the discovery, a behavioral psychologist at Mercy College told News 12 that the person responsible for hanging the cats was most likely mentally unstable.
The Yonkers Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for more information.