Shortly after being deemed a suspect in the death of two K9 police dogs, authorities found a third dead dog’s remains in a former Georgia school police officer’s home.
Lieutenant Daniel Peabody, 50, was initially accused of leaving one dog to die in a hot car and shooting another in June 2016, WXIA reports.
At first, Peabody was reported to be so distraught over the deaths of one of the dogs, Inca, in June 2016, he stopped breathing and fainted.
"Peabody was very distraught, very despondent over it, naturally, even to the point where he was transported to the hospital last night," said Cherokee County Marshal's Office Chief Ron Hunton, WSBTV reports.
Yet further investigations began to paint Peabody as more involved in these deaths than he was leading on.
First, Peabody abruptly resigned. Meanwhile, his description of events was not adding up.
Peabody claimed one of the dogs, a Yellow Labrador called Dale, had choked to death on a toy. However, it was later revealed he was killed in 2012, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
“Peabody initially claimed Dale’s death was accidental due to Dale choking on a toy,” the marshal’s office said in a statement. “However, the investigation yielded evidence that Dale was in fact shot and killed.”
Peabody later confirmed he had indeed shot the dog, but only after it expired.
More recently, Peabody claimed he had accidentally left Inca, a Belgian Malinois, alone in the car to die, forgetting that the animal was in the vehicle.
"He gets out, turns the car off, gets busy with his wife helping another dog, and apparently he simply forgot about the dog, accidentally," said Hunton.
However, a forensic veterinarian has confirmed a different dog -- another Belgian Malinois -- was likely killed by gunshot inside of Peabody’s home. Authorities say this dog is probably the grandmother of Inca.
Peabody was taken into custody on June 22 and was given a $22,400 bond. He was charged with felony animal cruelty and making false statements to law enforcement.