Although the Metropolitan Police claim an investigation into the “Croydon Cat Killer” has concluded that the cat mutilations- there were many reports of incidents in the Tandridge area – were not caused by a human and instead were likely to have been killed after being hit by vehicles and then mutilated by foxes, the charity also probing the slayings has said it will continue its hunt for the perpetrator.
The Met began investigating the claims in November 2015 but has now announced the end of its three-year inquiry.
The police force said it had initially investigated six suspicious cases of cat mutilations, from among many reports to the force after it began working with South Norwood Animal Rescue Liberty (SNARL)- the charity prefers to call the the alleged perpetrator the M25 Killer.
The force said in a statement: “No evidence of human involvement was found in any of the reported cases.
“There were no witnesses, no identifiable patterns and no forensic leads that pointed to human involvement. Witness statements were taken, but no suspect was identified.”
The Met added that in three of the cases, CCTV footage was found showing foxes carrying bodies of pets or cat body parts.
It added: “The cats were killed due to major blunt force trauma consistent with vehicle collisions. Scavenging foxes then mutilated body parts – especially heads and tails.”
A statement issued by SNARL said: “The cats who have been decapitated have had their heads removed in exactly the same manner and place each time. Where we have recovered both head and body, the same small part is missing from each.
“We find it difficult to understand how foxes can replicate this perfectly across a range of victims across a vast geographical area.
“What has also not been explained is why we have no cases in Scotland or Wales, Devon, East Anglia, Suffolk, Rutland, etc given that we have rescue and lost and found contacts there who would notify us if bodies were found.
“In Sussex, there was a case where a rabbit was killed and his body displayed in the same manner as the cats and rabbits and foxes we have attended in other areas. His injuries were a match to these other victims. His liver was placed at the bottom of the garden on a raised stone next to the shed, with a trail of fur leading to it. The next night, the owner’s locked catflap was kicked in and the victim’s collar placed on the stone his liver had been. That’s not foxes.
“In West Wickham, a cat’s collar was returned five months after the cat was killed. That’s not foxes.
“In Watford, a rabbit was killed and six months later, his head was returned to his garden and found by his owner. It was pristine and looked like it had just happened. This wasn’t reported to Police as she was disgusted by their response when reporting the incident. That’s not foxes.
“We have taken a collective decision to continue with the investigation. We now have the skills within our extended team to cover most of what police would be doing anyway.
“The police have stated that they have never had a full time officer assigned to the case, so we are wondering now how much time has actually been spent trying to solve this.
“That said, we also know of some exceptional police work done at the start of this case and would like to thank the officers who worked on it.
“Finally, our thoughts are with owners who have been confronted by this news without any prior warning.”