An Arizona man who went public with his complaints about a polygamist church, then found a cat left to die in a cement-filled tube on his property said nothing's being done about what he believes was a sick warning.
Isaac Wyler, of Colorado City, Ariz., said a friend made the gruesome discovery in late May. Graphic video they recently released out of what they claim is frustration with local authorities, shows the kitten struggling for its life, its eyes coated with wet cement. Wyler and Andrew Chatwin, who made the bizarre find near Wyler's horse shelter, are former members of The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the cultish sect led by Warren Jeffs, who last year was convicted of child sex charges.
The men were able to free the cat from the cement, but it later died. Wyler, who was ex-communicated from the sect in 2004 and had recently given an interview to AzFamily.com in which he was highly critical of Jeffs, said he and Chatwin believe members of the sect are behind the act, and said this isn't the first time it has happened.
“It's been going on for years. I’ve recorded up to a dozen dead cats put into his horse corral. I’ve recorded dead animals being put in his truck," Chatwin told Right This Minute.
“It's been going on for years. I’ve recorded up to a dozen dead cats put into his horse corral."
- Andrew Chatwin
Colorado City, on the Utah border, is known for many of its citizens' ties to the church. The U.S. Justice Department filed a suit against government officials in the area for alleged civil rights violations, denying ex- and non-members basic services like access to the police, utilities, and housing.
After the May 31 incident, an officer from the Colorado City/Hilldale Police Department came to the scene and took several pictures and interviewed neighbors.
"This case is being tabled until more leads are forthcoming," reads the report, signed by Officer Curtis Cooke.
Animal rights activists were aghast that someone would hurt a kitten in order to send a message.
"Unfortunately, the kitten we knew as Thomas succumbed to his massive injuries a few days later," said Barbara Williamson, Media Relations Manager for the Best Friends Animal Society. "We were all deeply saddened at seeing what he went through, and knowing that someone out there clearly has suffered so much in their own life to feel justified inflicting this kind of cruelty on another living being."
Officials from the church could not be reached for comment. Jeffs is currently serving a life sentence plus 20 years for sexually assaulting his underage wives.