(KMOV) -- It is a story that is hard to explain: a cop, a bunch of cash, and a lot of dead animals, some of them family pets.
It’s kind of hard to explain, that’s probably why the focus of this investigation kept repeating himself.
Eric Smith was a part-time cop in Leadwood, Missouri along with running a taxidermy business on the side. But when News 4’s Chris Nagus tried to ask him questions outside a courthouse, all Smith had to say was “talk to my lawyer.”
And he did not provide many answers to his former customers either.
“Looking back at it he blatantly lied, there’s no way around it” said Kyle Steck of Fenton who hired Smith to mount two bucks he and his dad shot while hunting. Speck paid hundreds of dollars but got nothing.
Smith’s shop outside Perryville, MO attracted lots of customers, 31 of them filed police reports claiming Smith took their money, their animals, and did nothing.
According to police, Smith took more than $20,000 in deposits and did nothing.
Kathy Adams of Florissant trusted Smith with her Westie, she paid him nearly $2,000 to preserve Snowball, but right now the money is gone and so is snowball.
News 4’s Chris Nagus tried to get answers from Smith outside of his court appearance in Cape Girardeau. But all Smith kept repeating was “talk to my lawyer.”
Smith is set to go on trial in August.