Lifestyle & Human Interest

Fingerprint Found on Tape Used To Bind Small Dog's Feet and Mouth Leads To Arrest


On Feb. 14, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office sent out a heartfelt plea, looking for the anyone who knew the story of a poor little dachshund they’d found in rough shape.

“Do you recognize this dog?” the post began. “He was dumped in a ditch last weekend near Old Highway M and Schneider Road. He was cold, starving and may have had a concussion.”

“A deputy found him while on patrol and took the dog to an animal hospital. ‘Jimmy,’ as he’s become known, is doing much better now. We’d like to get him back to his owners. If you know his family, please call our detectives at 636-797-5515.”

The poor thing had been bound in electric tape, thrown into a ditch in the cold, and been left to fend for himself. He was dirty, skinny and terrified. Fortunately he started doing better after being taken in by Ivan Animal Hospital in House Springs, Missouri.

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A young woman named Katie Kofron replied to one of the hospital’s posts about Jimmy, sharing a photo and a sad story about how the pup was her dog “Flick” and he’d been taken from her yard the week before.

“His name is flick he’s been my dog for 13 years,” she wrote. “I let him out Friday night around 8:30 before getting my kid to sleep and expected him back in his usual 5 minutes. He didn’t come back and that’s when I looked all over the neighborhood for him.”

“He never leaves our yard so I knew something was up and hoped just a family got him in for the night thinking he was a stray. Someone had to have gotten him from our yard as in we live right by freer elementary, he never leaves our yard unless it’s to our side neighbors because he’s friends with their dogs.”

Kofron explained that Flick was skinny because his doggy friend had passed away and he’d gone off his food. She also said he had a very sensitive stomach and it was hard to find anything he’d be able to keep down.

As detectives examined the tape the dog had been bound with, they found a fingerprint that led to the arrest of 39-year-old Paul Garcia.

“We want to congratulate the deputy and investigators involved in the animal abuse case of Jimmy/Flick the Dog,” the sheriff’s office posted on Feb. 19. “Deputy Keith Smith is commended for spotting Flick in the ditch after the dog was bound with tape at his muzzle and paws and dumped there nearly 12 hours before. Deputy Smith took quick action to rescue the dog. Furthermore, he was able to secure the tape so it could be processed as evidence.”

“Detectives Lee Morris and Nick Schuenemann are commended for their work in examining the tape and locating a latent fingerprint. Working together over an hours-long process, Detectives Morris and Schuenemann were able to extract the print. They verified the print with integrity after it came back as a match in a database.”

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“Thanks to the good work by all three, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office made an arrest in the case and the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed charges.”

The dog was confirmed to be Kofron’s after she supplied medical history that correlated with the dog’s condition.

The animal hospital explained that the dog isn’t enthusiastic, plus he was older and had been through a lot, he’d seen Kofron before the filming started and had been happy, and lots of people were trying to film him, so he probably didn’t appear as elated to see his owner as a younger, less scared, more excitable dog would.

Jimmy/Flick is back home now, and Kofron has started a Facebook page for him to keep his fans and those who are concerned updated with his progress.

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