HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - Police in Hollywood say they have made an arrest in connection to the death of Ollie the pit bull, who was stabbed and left to die in a suitcase.
Brendan Evans, 31, is charged with Aggravated Animal Cruelty after police said he was linked to DNA taken from the suitcase in which Ollie was found.
“Hollywood detectives and officers have seen and investigated animal cruelty cases before, but none as horrific as what we’ve seen in the case of Ollie,” said Miranda Grossman of the Hollywood Police Department.
Ollie was discovered in an ally on the 1900 block of Lee Street, Oct. 10. The dog was taken to an animal hospital where he eventually died due to 37 stab wounds.
After hundreds of tips, DNA given by Evans linked the suspect to the case, according to police. Authorities had collected DNA from the suitcase Ollie was found in, and a match led back to the suspect.
“It’s scary. I knew it was somebody in the area, you know. I just didn’t know it was this close to home, right across the street,” said neighbor Christine Baker.
After weeks of interviewing the suspect, police found a disturbing pattern of animal abuse. Officers interviewed Evans, who freely gave his DNA, and he allowed them to execute a search warrant at his apartment while he watched from outside.
While police executed a search warrant in Evans’ home, officers found multiple dead animals, including several dead rats with various body parts removed, as well as cat paws. Police noted blood spatter on the apartment’s walls, along with blood in the bathroom and what appeared to be fur in the oven. Cops also found one of Ollie’s teeth inside Evans’ wallet during his arrest.
“That’s horrifying. I can’t even believe it,” said Baker.
Police believe religion could have been a motivating factor, noting a report from Fort Lauderdale Police in February where Evans told officers he wanted to kill a duck because he practices voodoo and said it was his religious right. During the search of his apartment, cops also discovered an 8-pointed star drawn on a kitchen wall as well as a shrine with candles, which included pieces of the Crimestoppers flyer about Ollie’s death. There was also a letter that read, “Make the entire pit bull investigation go away. Return all curses placed on Brendan to their sender. Give Brendan piece of mind.” “Peace” was misspelled in the letter.
On one occasion that police spoke with Evans, they had passed out a flyer for Ollie’s case. Inside the apartment, investigators noted a ripped in half “Ollie” flyer placed in two separate candles.
Evans was previously arrested by the Broward Sheriff’s Office in 2012 for domestic battery, and is currently on probation for a bank robbery in Hernando County. Police said his fingerprints also link him to a residential burglary in Hollywood.
Evans was arrested in connection to the burglary and violation of probation.
“We will not tolerate any form of animal cruelty or violence in our city. Each reported case of animal cruelty, be it physical abuse or neglect, is disturbing, and this case is particularly heartbreaking. We were all pulling for Ollie to survive, but unfortunately he didn’t make it. However, due to our investigation, we are now able to provide justice for Ollie,” said Acting Police Chief Chris O’Brien.
Neighbors said they are just happy that Evans is finally in custody. “He could have graduated and moved up, you know, so I’m just glad that they got him,” said Baker.
Evans will be in court again to face charges of animal cruelty.
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