A family is in search of answers after their dog was found mutilated in Old Hickory.
Metro Nashville Police and Metro Animal Care and Control are investigating the case.
It happened in the early hours Monday morning in the 1400 block of Elliston Street.
For 15 years, Coco the pitbull brought Bridget Simmons and her family endless joy.
“She would talk to you, she played all the time. She was like every man’s dream dog,” said Simmons. “Coco was a big part, I mean she was one of us.”
But that joy took a dark turn late Monday night.
“It’s been very emotional having to find her like we found her,” said Simmons.
According to investigators, Coco was found dead in the early hours Monday morning in the backyard of a home on Elliston Street.
Detectives said her stomach appeared to be cut open, possibly from a knife.
“It was horrific seeing her in the shape that she was in, what they did to her,” said Simmons. “I don’t even know how somebody can walk around to consciously and be able to do that to an animal.”
Ashley Harrington is the field supervisor for Metro Animal Care and Control.
“We have had some pretty serious calls in the past but nothing that’s deliberate,” said Harrington. “I think if this was where it appears to have gone, this was a deliberate act.”
What could be a key piece of evidence – food that Simmons said was found right next to Coco’s body.
“I believe they put it back there to lure her back there to do what they did to her,” said Simmons.
But what led Coco to the neighborhood began the day before.
Simmons said the family dog lived with her brother in Rayon City.
She said at some point, someone had taken Coco three miles away to Elliston Street.
Kesley Kovar lives next door to the home where Coco’s body was discovered.
“My dog wouldn’t come inside, so we went outside to see what she was looking at and there was a dead dog in my neighbors backyard,” said Kovar.
Kovar’s home surveillance captured the final moments around midnight before Coco was allegedly killed.
“We see it on the porch – doesn’t go through our trash just really sweet wagging its tail,” said Kovar.
A half hour later, a last glimpse of Coco walking away.
“I don’t even know a person who would have a reason to do something like that to her – She would’ve come to anybody,” said Simmons.
If you have any information on this case, call Metro Animal Care and Control at 615-862-7928.