Woman says her dog was tortured, killed at Portland homeless cam - KPTV - FOX 12

Woman says her dog was tortured, killed at Portland homeless camp

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Photo of Laika, dog believed to have been taken from home and killed at homeless camp. (Photo: Carolina Guerrero) Photo of Laika, dog believed to have been taken from home and killed at homeless camp. (Photo: Carolina Guerrero)
Springwater Corridor trail (Source: KPTV) Springwater Corridor trail (Source: KPTV)

Portland police officers are investigating an allegation that a woman's missing dog had been tortured and killed at a homeless camp near the Springwater Corridor trail.

Carolina Guerrero told police that sometime between Friday, April 1 and Saturday April 2, her dog Laika went missing after she found a backyard gate open and the dog was gone.

It appeared that someone opened the front gate to access the back gate, took Laika, and left the back gate open. Police said the woman told officers her other dogs were still there.

That is when Guerrero began to conduct her own investigation, according to police.

After talking to people in the area, she learned a homeless female known as 'Kim' had been seen with Laika around the Springwater Corridor and some nearby convenience stores.

Guerrero said she was out on the trails near Beggar's Tick Park park with fliers of Laika when a transient told her he knew what had happened.

“He told me that some guy had killed Laika and that they had cut her tongue out before they hung her,” Guerrero said. 

Guerrero went down a trail to a shallow grave and found Laika.

She told police the dog had a cut on one of its hind legs and its face and head were swollen. Guerrero said she is not sure if the dog was beaten up or if the swelling was bloating from death and body gasses.

Police said she told officers that the dog's tongue had also been cut out and was nailed to a tree nearby.

It was bad enough when her dog went missing. Guerrero said how her puppy spent the last minutes of her life is heartbreaking.

“The outcome was pretty horrifying to my family and I,” Guerrero said. “Finding out that someone had done something to her -- you don’t know why.”

Officers asked her why she did not contact police until a week later, and specifically why not on the day she found her dog and had met people with knowledge of the dog.

She told officers that she had been too upset and it did not occur to her to call the police. Detectives said Friday they have no doubts about her story. 

Police said, however, since a week had passed between the time she found her dog and the time she called police, it is possible that anyone involved or having knowledge of what happened to Laika has since packed up and moved.

Guerrero said she posted the news on a neighborhood Facebook page to warn others.

"There's things here in this neighborhood that shouldn't be happening to families," Guerrero said. "One of the reasons I posted on the 'I love Lents' Facebook page is because we're all a community and we all need to be aware of everything that's around us."

Police have not been able to identify 'Kim' or any of the homeless people the woman had talked to during her investigation. The only information she had about 'Kim' is that she was a white female with purple hair. 

Police said they have no suspects at this time. Anyone with information about this case is asked to email CrimeTips@PortlandOregon.gov. 

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