A formal criminal complaint was filed in federal court Friday against a Kokomo woman police believe tortured and mutilated cats while live streaming the actions on social media.
Krystal Cherika Scott, 19, was arrested Tuesday afternoon at her residence near Kokomo, and she is currently facing federal counts of animal crushing and creating animal crush videos. Crush videos depict small animals being tortured and/or killed for the sexual gratification of observers, according to the Animal Welfare Institute.
In the 19-page criminal complaint released on Friday, FBI Special Agent Andrew D. Willmann outlined the two counts Scott is facing and also took a moment to highlight the Good Samaritan work of a group of what he referred to as “internet sleuths” in helping to report Scott’s actions to the proper authorities.
Investigation to arrest
The investigation into Scott’s actions began in mid-June, Willmann wrote, when concerned citizens contacted the Boise Police Department (BPD) about live stream videos in which Scott could be seen handling mutilated cats and holding them up to the camera, all while wearing a cat skull or coyote mask.
Those citizen tips prompted the BPD to open up an investigation into the matter, Willmann stated in the complaint.
Around June 18, BPD then conducted a search warrant for the Instagram account “real.serial.dog.killer.dude2” in which they located two comments that were posted to a private group, the complaint read.
“I’ll be killing a pregnant Siamese and a kitten later on today,” one statement read, while the other stated, “I’ll be dispatching two cats, so I’ll be posting the videos.”
That same day, that Instagram handle ended up sharing multiple pictures of kittens, the complaint noted, with a later picture appearing to show a deceased kitten hanging from a metal bar.
Another Instagram handle, which was later determined to also be Scott’s, depicted the live strangulation of what appeared to be a small gray kitten, the complaint noted.
The next day — June 19 — Willmann wrote in the complaint that BPD detectives searched approximately 12 Instagram accounts that appeared to all be linked to Scott’s IP address in Howard County.
The investigation was then turned over to FBI Indianapolis Field Office.
Around that same time, someone alerted the authorities about a woman who was “attempting to find a home for a gray kitten, a pregnant Siamese cat and a black kitten.”
Another Facebook user — later determined to be Scott — responded to that advertisement and offered to take the cats, the complaint noted.
That was one day before the strangulation video was posted online.
Police also tracked down the individual who gave the kittens to Scott, and Willmann said she was able to make proper identification that Scott was the woman she met.
Willmann also wrote that police were able to identify the metal bar that Scott allegedly used to kill the kitten via a Google map of Scott’s property.
On Tuesday afternoon, police raided Scott’s residence, taking her into custody and removing several animals from her home in the process.
And after Scott was taken into custody, Willmann noted that she admitted to being the same Instagram user that posted the strangulation video.
“According to Scott, she claims that her ‘good side’ loves cats and dogs, but that her ‘bad side’ tells her to commit acts of animal cruelty including killing animals by strangulation and other means,” Willmann wrote in the complaint. “Scott admitted to intentionally using aliases in her online social media accounts … avoiding showing her face … to thwart law enforcement’s efforts to identify her.”
But Scott’s encounters with police didn’t just start in mid-June, the complaint noted.
In fact, on May 3, 2020, the complaint states that the Kokomo Police Department responded to Scott’s residence on a complaint of animal cruelty.
During that search of the property, officers seized multiple deceased animals — including two cats in a freezer — and animal body parts from Scott’s residence, though the complaint indicated that Scott denied having any involvement in unlawful animal killing.
Local authorities also seized several cellphones at that time, but Scott later told the FBI that she made sure to not give police any phone of evidentiary value.
“Scott claimed the deceased animals at her residence were already deceased when she received them,” the complaint wrote.
Along with the phones, the complaint also noted that KPD at the time seized a white animal face mask with an articulating jaw and the legs of an unidentified animal that Scott claimed was a coyote.
Willmann also noted several times throughout this part of the complaint that KPD was not aware of Scott’s alleged live stream videos or her actions throughout social media, as this was before the investigation began in Boise.
A few weeks later, again without knowledge of the then-ongoing investigation by the BPD and FBI, local authorities responded once again to Scott’s property, the complaint stated, this time after a person who gave a pregnant cat to Scott believed that cat to be tortured.
Officers once again interviewed Scott, Willmann wrote, who denied ever having the cat in her possession.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Tiffany Preston, who is prosecuting this case for the government, Scott faces up to seven years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a maximum fine of $250,000 if convicted.