Pet goat’s death has family, police searching for answers

Pet goat’s death has family, police searching for answers
Dr. Mark McIlwain holds his family's pet baby goat, "Sushi." The beloved animal was beheaded and found in a cemetery recently. (Source: Dr. Mark McIlwain/Lisa Singleton-Rickman)

TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WAFF) - Police are still searching for information on the decapitation of a family’s beloved pet baby goat over the Labor Day weekend.

The four-month old goat named “Sushi” had been a bottle-fed, well-loved pet of Dr. Mark McIlwain and his family.

According to our news partners at the Times Daily, the goat was last seen around 7 p.m. on September 6 when cameras showed him on the property.

McIlwain said Sushi came immediately when he called for him. That day, the goat never showed up.

On Tuesday after Labor Day, McIlwain got a call that Sushi’s severed head had been found in the Colbert Memorial Funeral Home cemetery. No body has been found.

“I just can’t imagine this type of evil, the cruelty, but I will not rest until the person or persons responsible are caught,” McIlwain said.

Tuscumbia Police chief Tony Logan said the head had been cut with a knife and the animal clearly wasn’t the victim of a wildlife attack.

“The head was just laying out in the open, not placed on a grave or anything to make it look ceremonial,” Logan said.

“I think satanic rituals always come to mind with this type thing, but we just don’t know. We’re still canvassing that area and talking to people. With it coming up missing just before Labor Day, it could have been stolen and killed for food.”

McIlwain said he has lived in the same location for over 25 years and it has always been a peaceful area with no problems. The McIlwain family, along with other neighbors and friends from throughout Tuscumbia, are offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the prosecution of those responsible.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Tuscumbia Police Department at 256-383-0321. Callers may remain anonymous by dialing Crimestoppers at 256-386-8685.

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