Neighbors Wake to Headless Animals Halloween Mystery

Neighbors find dead, headless animals in the street

By Todd Wright and Sharon Lawson
|  Friday, Oct 22, 2010  |  Updated 9:48 AM EDT
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Dozens of goats and birds were found dead in a neighborhood east of the airport -- and residents suspect Santeria was involved.

Dozens of goats and birds were found dead in a neighborhood east of the airport -- and residents suspect Santeria was involved.

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A gruesome Halloween mystery came to a Miami neighborhood Thursday morning when residents awoke to find dozens of dead, headless animals dumped down their street.

About a dozen goats, cats and different types of birds were laid out on nearly two blocks between 16th Terrace and 15th Terrace on 34th Avenue in Miami, leaving residents scared at what might be next as Halloween approaches.

"Nothing had a head," said Marioly Perez, who was awakened by screeching tires as a car peeled out down the street. "I have never seen anything like this. It's scary."

Miami Police believe the dead animals might have been part of a religious ritual like a Santeria, but those don't usually involve cats. There was also a "very large" animal that no one could identify, residents said.

It all started when something went bump in the night outside. A loud boom woke residents and the sounds of a fast-moving car caused them to come outside.

When they walked out, the scene resembled something from a nightmare - a trail of headless animals with body parts strewn everywhere.

Perez said the smell was suffocating and that it seemed like the animals had been dead for some time.

"We all love animals here. This is very, very depressing. You don't know what kind of crazy people are around your neighborhood," resident Josefine Pita said. "It's very, very scary because you don't know if they are going to steal your animal."

The City's Sanitation Department cleared away the animal carcasses, while the Fire Department hosed down the Street. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Miami Police Department or call Crimestoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

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