21-year-old Jose Vega Meza reportedly killed the dog on June 16 because his roommate owed rent money to his mother, who owns the home in the Phoenix suburbs city of Buckeye, police said.
The victim, whose name remains unreleased, told investigators that she was moving her belongings out of the home she shared with Vega Meza. She had her dog with her but lost track of it for a while, according to the police statement.
The woman and her friends who were helping her move later spotted Vega Meza trying to sneak a box onto her moving truck.
When confronted by the victim, Vega Meza reportedly smiled back. The woman opened the box, only to discover her dead, mutilated, headless dog inside.
The woman and her friends, who were helping her move, noticed Vega Meza was trying to load a small box onto a truck without anyone seeing him. That’s when the victim confronted Vega Meza and asked him what was in the boxhttps://t.co/erJ4hhfSP8
— FOX5 Las Vegas (@FOX5Vegas) June 18, 2019
The victim was so “distraught and upset,” police said in the statement, that she was unable to call authorities until the next day.
Victoria, who is a resident in the area, told KTVK that she had seen a girl “crying and screaming” after coming out of the house. “The other day there was a girl walking out of that house, she was crying and screaming saying he did something,” she told the news broadcaster. “She had like 4 or 5 people outside trying to calm her down and she couldn’t calm down.”
The police were able to locate Vega Meza and arrest him for animal cruelty on June 17. He told police he knew why he was being arrested and admitted involvement in the crime.
Moreover, he was charged for misdemeanor assault on a separate unprovoked attack on another prisoner during his stay at Maricopa County 4th Avenue Jail. According to court documents, Vega Meza said he killed the dog because the victim owes his mother money, reported KTVK. Vega Meza’s mother own the property where both Vega Meza and the victim lived, reported AZ Central, citing a police spokesperson.
The woman told police she found remains of her beheaded dog in a box as she was moving out of a house in Buckeye. https://t.co/tyG9m6DRJF
— azcentral (@azcentral) June 17, 2019
Vega Meza also admitted that he has killed other animals in his neighborhood, including a cat he said he drowned, police said in court documents.
“I had a cat, she was black and white, and she used to go around everywhere—you know, across the street, over there, over there—so it could’ve been her too. He could’ve taken her into his yard and killed her,” Victoria told Arizona’s Family. “We just had 2 cats come up missing like two days ago so that’s like really scary and my little brothers and sisters are probably wondering what happened to their cats and maybe that guy probably did something to my little brother and sister’s cat and that’s really horrible.”
Court records did not list a lawyer who could comment on behalf of Vega Meza, who was still jailed Monday due to not being able to afford a $20,000 bond.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.