INEZ, Ky. (WYMT) - A string of missing animal cases are popping up in Martin County.
Some who live in Inez say someone is skinning cats. However, sheriff's deputies say that might not be the case.
Now, the question is, could this be abuse or nature?
The day Candace Kelly brought her newborn baby home from the hospital, she noticed something was missing.
"We were devastated that Monday, when we came home with the baby and we couldn't find her," recalled Kelly.
Soon after, many neighbors reported their cats missing or worse.
"Someone that lives near to us had reported that their cat or several of their cats had been found with their throats slit and they had been skinned," explained Kelly.
Now, she fears her 5-year-old cat Nancy may be the victim to abuse.
"It actually terrified us because we thought, who would do that to an animal?" questioned Kelly.
Martin County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Housinger says he is looking into the accusations.
"At this time, we're not ruling anything out. We are looking into it," noted Deputy Housinger.
Housinger says he believes coyotes may be to blame.
"This time of the year, the coyotes have raised their pups all summer. Now, fall is coming and they're starting to teach their pups how to hunt and fend for themselves," explained Housinger.
He says this time of the year, it is important to keep a watchful eye on your four-legged friends.
"To a coyote, they don't look at fluffy as anything other than a source of food," said Housinger.
As for Kelly, she says she believes a person committed the crime, saying coyotes do not hunt this way.
"They usually get a hold of it, they shake it, they kill it, and they eat it," said Kelly.
Housinger says if that is the case, they will work to find out who did it.
"Animal abuse, we do take it very seriously, it is a crime," said Housinger.
Deputy Housinger says if you suspect animal abuse, contact your local law enforcement immediately.