February 1, 2019
The Bay County Sheriff’s Office made an arrest this afternoon of a man believed responsible for cutting the throat of his German Shepherd dog and burning the carcass.
Shortly after midnight, a fire was reported in an empty lot across from 5550 North Lagoon Drive. The person called 911 and the Bay County Fire Department was dispatched and quickly put out the fire. While digging in the hot spots of the fire, the fireman came across the burned body of a dog. The BCSO was called to the scene
Deputies arrived to the scene and observed the dog’s neck appeared to have been cut. BCSO Criminal Investigations was notified and Animal Control was also called to the scene. An identification chip was located in the dog which led investigators to Matthew Wilkes, age 18.
Wilkes was questioned and told investigators the dog was his three-year-old German Shepherd named Sampson, and that he killed him because “God told him to”. Wilkes admitted to stabbing Sampson in the rib cage, cutting his throat, and burning his body. Wilkes initially hid the knife he used to stab Sampson before finally taking investigators to the hiding spot and turning it over.
Wilkes was arrested and charged with Cruelty to Animals and Tampering with Evidence.
Prepared by R. Corley
Information by Inv. S. Rhinehart
Approved by Chief J. Heape