Ex-Cop Charged in Killing of 2 K9 Partners Now Linked to Death of Third Dog: Police
After being charged with the deaths of two K9 officers, a former Georgia schools lieutenant has now been linked to the death of a third dog.
Daniel Peabody, 50, made headlines last month for leaving his K9 partner, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois named Inka, in a hot squad car. Peabody filed his resignation after the police dog died three hours later from a heatstroke.
Upon investigation of his home, the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office discovered later that month that a yellow Labrador Peabody claimed had choked on a tennis ball was actually shot and killed.
K9 Dale was another former partner of Peabody, who adopted Dale after the dog's retirement from active service.
Officers excavated a corpse from Peabody's backyard, after he reportedly told officers that that's where the body was buried, but upon further investigation of the remains, a forensic veterinarian discovered that the remains did not belong to K9 Dale.
The remains were found to belong to another Belgian Malinois who was at least 10 years old at the time of death. Officials believe the dog was killed by gunshot, and may have been the grandmother of K9 Inka.
"He had told us that he shot this dog as well," Chief Marshall Ron Hunton told InsideEdition.com. "He said the dog was an old dog, and had some severe health issues, so he shot and killed the dog.
"I couldn't do it, but anyway, he did. There's better ways [to euthanize] than to shoot a dog in the back of the head with a shotgun," Hunton said.
Despite the latest discovery of the Belgian Malinois, "We have not yet found the remains of Dale," Hunton said.
Peabody and his wife Tyler Verlander, who was cited for operating a kennel business in the home without a license, have since moved.
Peabody was charged with aggravated animal cruelty in response to the death of K9 Inka, and providing false statements to law enforcement officers in response to the death of K9 Dale.
He has not been charged for the death of the elderly Belgian Malinois, but the investigation is ongoing.
The former liutenant has since been released on $22,400 bond, and will next appear in court later this month.
His attorney declined to comment.