At around 2:00 p.m. on Monday, Missoula Police Officers responded to a residence in the 1700 block of Cooley Street. Animal Control Officers were conducting an investigation at that residence and requested the help of MPD. Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh explains.

“The Animal Control Officers were investigating a report of animal cruelty and before meeting with a potential suspect, they asked police to respond,” Welsh said. “Upon their arrival, the officers met with a suspect that was identified as 46-year-old Frank Rodriguez.”

According to Welsh, the officers discovered some very disturbing evidence during their investigation.

“Evidence suggested that Rodriguez had been involved in the killing of cats or kittens and was suspected of mutilating their bodies before sending photographs of their carcasses to his juvenile relatives,” Welsh said.

The officers gathered evidence that connected Rodriguez to the act and placed him under arrest for aggravated animal cruelty. Rodriguez was transported to the Missoula County Detention Center and is currently awaiting arraignment. KGVO will provide more information as it becomes available.