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Cat cross puzzles Ephraim police

EPHRAIM, Sanpete County — Ephraim police are trying to figure out who placed heads and body parts of cats in what appeared to be the shape of a cross on a grave in the Ephraim City Cemetery.

"We're looking cases where cats may have been taken and gathering witnesses statements," Police Chief Ron Rasmussen said Wednesday. "Hopefully that will lead us to who did this."

On Sept. 4, Debbie Mackey of Ephraim reported finding bloody garbage bags on her husband's grave in the cemetery. Rasmussen said the officer who responded found the heads of eight cats, along with legs and other body parts, on another grave.

Rasmussen said he has information suggesting that the motive behind the act was to upset the relatives of the person buried in the grave. He said the family had requested that the deceased person's name not be released. But he said it was a middle-aged man who died more than a year ago.

Ephraim police have not received any recent reports of missing cats, Rasmussen said. But the Sanpete Animal Sanctuary, a local animal rescue group, has reported receiving a rash of complaints about missing animals and animal mutilations over the past six months.