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Man accused of decapitating pet cat with machete faces charges

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 11:35 AM EDT
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SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A man is facing animal cruelty charges after confessing to officers he decapitated his pet cat and dismembered its body.

“It’s not normal, not in any facet of life or any part of society or anywhere in the country,” said Cpt. Pat Rader with the South Charleston Police Department. “It’s just not what goes on, what happens, it’s pretty extraordinary.”

According to the South Charleston Police Department, they were called to the home along E. Village Drive on July 20 for a welfare check requested by Gabriel Kekel’s sister last week.

“Our officers (and Kekel) started talking (and) they exhibited some fairly erratic behavior,” Rader said, “He didn’t seem like he was all there, so they brought him in to talk to him (more), to make sure he was OK (and) he started disclosing some things that were fairly bizarre, stuff you read about or maybe see in a movie.”

Outside of the home, Kekel told officers he gave his cat some type of drug or narcotic which made the cat overdose, then Kekel removed its head with a machete and dismembered its body.

Kekel allowed officers inside his home and brought them three jars which had several animal body parts in them, including the cat’s head.

“I mean, we see a lot things here at the shelter but seeing things like this doesn’t make it any easier just because we work here,” said Bethany Hively, executive director of the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association. “It’s scary and its sad.”

“It’s just crazy that this guy -- (he’s) sick, (he) needs help,” said David Allison, one of Kekel’s neighbors. “We never really heard anything from him, never seen him really that much other than catching the mail at the same time (or) he would catch his food (in front of the building, away from his front porch) when he would get his food delivered.”

Kekel, 20, of South Charleston has been charged with cruelty to animals. Police said probable cause was found at his preliminary hearing on Tuesday and his case now goes to a Kanawha County grand jury for a possible indictment of not one, but several charges of animal cruelty.

Now, his bond is set at $5,000 at South Central Regional Jail.

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