HENDERSON, Ky. (WFIE) - A man is in police custody in connection to the dog burning case at the Henderson County Fairgrounds nearly two weeks ago.
According to Detective John Nevels with the Henderson Police Department, officers arrested 32-year-old Bryan Matthews Jr. on Thursday night.
In a press release, HPD officials say Matthews was apprehended at his home on the 2700 block of Zion Road.
Matthews has been booked into the Henderson County Detention Center.
He now faces charges of torturing a dog and third-degree arson.
As 14 News reported earlier, the dog named Duke was found burned in a bathroom at the county fairgrounds on June 7.
Authorities say the dog had been intentionally burned alive.
Dog owner Gina Howard says to now have someone arrested in the case is a sigh of relief.
“It was a good feeling, but I still don’t have complete closure until conviction,” Howard said. “I’m still without answers. I’m still without understanding of how this has happened or why this has happened.”
“I’m just praying that if we do learn anything else from this - it’s understanding and not hate,” Howard said. “I don’t want to promote any hate for this man. He needs prayer. He needs conviction. He needs whatever resources he needs to be in a better mind frame to be released, and hating him is not going to fix him.”
Pet Food Center and PETA both offered rewards for information that totaled $10,000.
There was also a Go Fund Me.
After Duke was found, Howard told 14 News she wanted justice for her dog.
“I don’t know how to digest it,” Howard said. “I don’t know how to accept it.”
According to court documents, Matthews was seen with a dog matching Duke’s description.
The documents show that Matthews’s girlfriend told him he had to get rid of the dog, so he left with Duke and came back without him.
The court evidence also details that Matthews drives a vehicle similar to the one seen on video leaving the area and heading towards the same apartment complex where he lives.
According to the documents, Matthews told his girlfriend he did not burn the dog, but dropped him off in the area where he found him.
They show the information was told to police by a confidential informant.