Terrified pet owners fear return of the ‘Croydon Cat Killer’ as moggy mutilated

The infamous Croydon Cat Killer is feared to have returned after another moggy was slain and mutilated.

A London MP has called for the investigation into hundreds of brutal cat deaths to be reopened after the case was previously closed, blaming foxes.

Devastated pet owner Katherine Hughes, 25, knocked on neighbours' doors in the home someone had seen her Theo, only for his headless body to be dumped nearby.

Animal group SNARL, who led the original pet killing investigation believe Theo's dissected body is the work of the so-called Croydon Cat Killer.

Katherine, a student beautician from Catford, Lewisham, said: "I'd be able to manage if he had died in a normal way, but this is really disturbing.

"Tony (from SNARL) said the head and tail are usually brought back a week or so later. I'm constantly looking for them. I can't put him to rest until I've found all his body.

"I don't think I'll ever come to terms with this. Please keep your cats in at night and be extra vigilant – especially at the moment when there is a killer around.

"I would hate for anybody else to go through the same pain. This killer has to be found."

Metropolitan Police spent over £130,000 and 2,250 hours during their investigation into the cat deaths – which they later ruled was foxes.

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Katherine said five-year-old Theo was usually a house cat, but he slipped out of an open window on April 18.

She knocked on neighbours doors and showed locals photos when he didn't return.

Unbeknown to her, the body of a headless and tailless cat had been found on April 21 in a nearby garden.

Locals called the RSPCA, who called in Tony Jenkins, founder of a group called South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL), to collect the pet.

Backed by the Metropolitan police, the National Crime Agency (NCA), and animal rights group Peta, he co-led the investigation into the "Croydon cat killer".

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Tony heard about Katherine's search so gave her a ring and positively identified Theo from photos, due to his distinctive markings.

She called the police, and said while they were kind, they said the investigation had closed and they couldn't look into Theo's death due to a lack of CCTV, she claims.

She said: "When Tony called back my heart just sank.

"Tony said the way Theo was killed and the fact that his head and tale were missing linked Theo to the Croydon Cat Killer.

"It's known that murderers have started off by hurting animals, and move to humans when that's no longer gratifying."

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Tony, 56 from Croydon, London, is a retired project coordinator and is now a full time animal rescuer and investigator.

He said: "The conclusion of the investigation doesn't explain why these are predominantly happening in the southeast of England but we have cars and foxes over the whole of the UK.

"There was no decrease in these killings in lockdown when there were less cars on the road.

"The investigation only did 42 post-mortems because they are expensive.

"They closed it after finding fox DNA on five bodies, and puncture marks on five, and because CCTV footage showed a fox carrying a cat.

"Yes foxes do scavenge dead cats, but they would take the body because they would most likely need to feed a family.

"Vets that examined bodies concluded the cuts were made with a knife and by the same person."

"Some people say these are just cats," Tony added, "but for the owners it's as devastating as losing a member of the family."

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