Man Who Skinned Cats Tracked to Louisville: Police
By WestKyStar Staff
PADUCAH, KY - A McCracken County man is in custody in Louisville where deputies tracked him after he reportedly broke into a Reidland home while the family was out of town, and killed and skinned their pets.
The family, who lives in the Powers Road area, called the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department on the afternoon of January 30, reporting that they had just arrived home and found a man inside who had broken in sometime during the previous two days. The man ran out of the home when the family arrived home, carrying a cooking pot.
Sheriff’s deputies were unable to locate the man after an extensive search of the area, which is very rural in nature. As the scene was being investigated by deputies and the homeowner, it was determined that the suspect had been living in their home for the past couple of days. It was also determined that their three cats were missing from inside the home.
Deputies found cat blood, cat fur, and other signs that the pets had been shot inside the home with a rifle that belonged to the victims. It also appeared that the cats had been skinned and processed as wild game would have been.
The suspect is known to the victims as a man that lives in a camper in a field behind and near their home. The suspect has been positively identified by the victims as being 36-year-old Richard S. Barnes.
Deputies learned that Barnes had fled Paducah on a Greyhound bus to Louisville. Local authorities asked police to check the Wayside Christian Mission on East Jefferson Street in Louisville, where Barnes was found Saturday evening. He was lodged in jail in Louisville. McCracken County deputies will transport him back to the McCracken County Regional Jail within the next day or so.
Barnes was arrested on warrants for first-degree burglary and second-degree cruelty to animals.
Barnes has an extensive criminal history including convictions for Eluding Police, Resisting Arrest, multiple counts of Drug Paraphernalia possession, Alcohol Intoxication, Theft, Assault on a Police Officer, felony Wanton Endangerment, Terroristic Threatening, and other charges.
Burglary 1st Degree carries a penalty of 10-to-20 years, Class B felony. Cruelty to Animals 2nd Degree is a Class A misdemeanor which carries up to 12 months in jail.