Puppy head, animal parts, found at home

FREEMONT, N.C. Wayne County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Ellen Grice said Wednesday that 28-year-old Lawton McKenzie turned himself in late Tuesday afternoon. He was later released on $3,000 bail.

McKenzie told authorities he had been studying taxidermy and using the animal bones for necklaces.

Animal control officials called the case bizarre.

Officers went to the home of Mckenzie after receiving a complaint. They found dismembered animals, a machete, knives, bowls of blood and what appeared to be a puppy's head in a plastic bag.

Animal control removed 26 living animals from the home. Officers also found a dying goat at the residence.

The goat, which was unable to move on its own, was transported to a veterinarian, who saved its life.

According to one officer, animal remains were being burned on a homemde grill. Investigators also found remains of a decapitated dog with its front paws cut off, dead snakes, a dead turtle, dead puppies and a goat head also on the grill.

Investigators also found owl remains among other unidentifiable items.

Mckenzie was in jail on unrelated charges and was bailed and then charged with animal cruelty. More charges related to the case are possible.

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