Hazelton man facing animal cruelty charges

Hazelton man facing animal cruelty charges

PIKE CO., IN (WFIE) - A Hazelton man is facing three felony charges after Indiana State Police say he took a woman’s dogs and killed them.

Troopers arrested 27-year-old Jordan Hunt at 12:25 p.m. Wednesday after an on-scene investigation.

We're told Chelsie Koutz contacted Evansville police sometime Tuesday evening to report someone went into her home and took both of her female dogs. One was a pit bull lab mix and the other was a golden doodle.

Koutz posted information on Facebook and offered a reward for the return of her pets.

CASH reward to any information regarding who took my babies. I came home at 6 this evening and unlocked my apartment...

Posted by Chelsie Paige Koutz on Tuesday, September 25, 2018

On Wednesday, someone who saw Koutz’s post told her the pets were in a rural area on County Road 200 North near Hazelton.

“We got a Facebook message from somebody up there (in Pike County) she was like, ‘Hey, I seen a Facebook post that’s going around, I’m pretty sure these are your dogs and this is your guy,'" described Koutz, during a 14 NEWS interview. “We immediately got an address. As soon as I got that, I contacted the Pike Co. Police Department.”

When officers arrived on the scene, both dogs had been burned and were dead. Investigators believe they were shot before they were set on fire.

“In the process of me being on the phone with Pike County, we were also on the phone with this girl, where the dogs were,” Koutz explained. “All of a sudden, we hear in the background, she’s screaming, ‘Oh my God, he just shot your dogs,’ I’m like, ‘no way,’ my mom is like, ‘go check on ‘em, make sure they’re still breathing.’ We still had so much hope built up. We thought, maybe he just shot something in the air, surely he (Hunt) wouldn’t shoot the dogs, you know.”

Koutz said the woman on the phone went to check on the dogs in a ditch near her property. Koutz says the woman is still on the phone with her.

“She says, I’m sorry, they’re gone. they’re dead,” Koutz recounted the phone call. “Then they (the woman and Hunt) get in some confrontation, and she screams at him. She tells him he’s sick and a psychopath and that he’s going to jail. In the process of all this, (Hunt) is trying to set them on fire, I guess to burn the rest of what he’s done," Koutz said she’s still on the phone. “She said, ‘you’re going to jail.’ He immediately stopped what he was doing and took off.”

According to police, Hunt left the area in his vehicle but was found at his home on East State Road 56 in Hazelton. He was taken to the Pike County Jail and is being held on a $350,000 bond.

“When we got there, I immediately jumped out and ran over to them,” Koutz said she asked Pike County authorities on scene where her dogs were. “You can still smell the smoke from where the fire had been put out and all you could see...” Koutz paused. “Their bodies for the most part were pretty well burnt, but their faces were still....” Koutz cried. "You could still tell it was them. I fell to the ground. I tried my best to hold both of them. They were still hot.”

Koutz tells us the stranger who called after seeing their post has offered to pay for cremation services.

Hazelton man facing animal cruelty charges

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