A first ever description has officially been given of someone investigators want to trace in connection with the hunt for the so-called Croydon Cat Killer.
This despicable human is believed to have killed, dismembered and decapitated in upwards of 250 cats and other animals since the first pet was found dead in Croydon back in 2014.
Police have literally invested more than 1,200 hours into the case so far.
With the majority of the cats’ bodies being discovered in and around Croydon the person responsible has been dubbed the Croydon Cat Killer.
Police and animal charity South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL) are currently offering a £10,000 – about $13,000 -reward for information leading to the arrest and official conviction of the perpetrator.
Following the death of yet another cat in Caterham last Wednesday morning (August 23), SNARL has since released a detailed description of someone it wants to trace in connection with the case.
An official statement, which has been posted on SNARL’s Facebook page on Saturday night (August 26), states: “This is a very general description which could fit any number of people.
“It will not make you a hero or do you any favours if you harm someone innocent. We reiterate [however] call police if [someone fitting this description is] seen in a situation as described below.
“If you see a man in his 40s, white, with short brown hair, between 5ft 8ins and 5ft 11ins of average build and possibly with some acne scarring to his face, dressed in dark clothing, with or without a torch, trying to coax cats with a toy or feed them or looking [into] or entering gardens, please dial 999.
“Quote Operation Takahe and then also call us on 07957 830490 or 07961 030064.”
“He may be wearing a headlamp or carrying a torch.”
SNARL is also urging the public to “not approach or confront him” as he may be “completely innocent”.
A recent TV documentary has revealed that the killer may have links to Addiscombe, as that was where a number of the earliest incidents occurred, and “is likely to have fantasies about raping or killing humans”.
As well as cats, the deaths of deer, foxes and also rabbits have been linked to the suspected serial animal killer.
In many of the cases, animals are found with heads cut off and recent incidents include a fox cub that was found mutilated at Caterham’s Tesco and cats being discovered decapitated.
After the cat’s death this week police officers and members of SNARL have been physically handing out leaflets in Caterham.
Police and members of SNARL had been called out when the body of the dead pet was discovered on Wednesday morning (August 23).
The road name where the cat was discovered has not been revealed by police as the family of the cat are so traumatised that they have requested it isn’t released.
Officers have been on patrol in the area since and they have been notified that someone was seen acting suspiciously on Tuesday evening extremely close to where the latest cat would be found dead the next morning.
A Surrey Police statement states: “Local officers have been in the Caterham on the Hill area following up on some information about a suspicious person seen in Buxton Lane between 9.30pm and 10pm on Tuesday, August 22.
“A cat bell was heard and then a kissing noise as though [someone was] trying to attract an animal. The noises were heard twice.
“When the person was seen they hurried off.”
The person is being described as wearing all dark clothing and was seen travelling away from the scene in the direction of Buxton Lodge nursing home. Police are saying they may have gone across the road and down an alleyway or further down the street.
At this point in time, it is not clear if this incident is linked with the cat that has been killed.
Tony Jenkins, from SNARL, stated: “It’s hard to know if they are connected. In the evening, when it gets dark, a lot of owners will be calling their cats in at night. It’s hard to know if it’s connected, but it is suspicious. The police are looking into it and that’s all I can really say.”
He went on to say that this is the third time an animal has been found apparently murdered in Caterham and he is quite certain this week’s victim wasn’t the victim of a fox attack or traffic accident.
“All we can say is a body was found and it was mutilated by a a human, that is for sure,” he concluded.