New clues in Lee County dog torture case

New clues in Lee County dog torture case

By Mike Mason. CREATED Apr 10, 2012 - UPDATED: Apr 10, 2012

LEE COUNTY, Fla. – New information tonight in the case of a dog tortured to death. Investigators hoping to uncover secrets to the dog's killer as they exhume the body. Four in your Corner investigator Mike Mason finding deputies may finally have a suspect in this case.

After our first report, hundreds of people reacted to the news, horrified that someone could have done such a thing. But one woman's comments on our Facebook page has now made her a person of interest in this case.

Bailey died more than a week ago but for her owners, it feels like yesterday.
Daniel Gilliam: "It's too close to her death, you know so it's killing me inside."

Bailey's favorite toys marked the spot where her owners buried her. Now the Westie's body has been exhumed as investigators with Lee County’s Animal Services try to determine exactly how she died.

Glenn Johnson: "We sent it up to a forensic veterinarian up in the University of Florida to have them do a necropsy."

Lee County Animal Services and the Sheriff's Office are both looking in to this case. Bailey's owners say it happened when she slipped her leash and disappeared in to her Suncoast Estates neighborhood. When she crawled back home a few hours later, she was beaten and her jaws glued shut. Bailey died the next day.

Daniel Gilliam: "It still hurts me inside real bad, real bad."
Mike Mason: "But you want them to find this person."
Daniel Gilliam: "I'd like them to find them, yeah."

After we posted our report on the Fox 4 website, hundreds of people reacted, horrified someone could do this. But one woman's comments raised suspicion. She wrote, "Learn how to shut your dogs up! I'm trying to sleep!"

Glenn Johnson: "She would be somebody, a person of interest we would, you know, the Sheriff's Department would want to talk to, I'm sure."

We showed the woman's photo to several Suncoast residents but they didn't recognize her.

Trish Routte with Southwest Florida Crimestoppers says this woman has no criminal background but she's not ruling her out as a suspect.

Trish Routte: "This is one of those cases where everybody's talking about it and everybody's mad. Seven years doing Crimestoppers I’ve never had a case where we've had just Joe Citizen call up and say 'we want to help, we want to provide some incentive to get this person behind bars because what they did is just reprehensible'."

If you have any information about this case call Crimestoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS. The reward is now up to $5,500 and you can submit information while remaining anonymous.