ST. PETERS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Neighbors in the Hunting Creek subdivision just off of Laura Hill Road in St. Peters say it's quiet and safe.
Brian Conn likes to keep an eye on his neighborhood and know what's going on. He says he hadn't heard any talk in the area of missing or mutilated cats.
“That is surprising, it is worrisome that somebody can freely come and go, even with all the surveillance cameras people have at their houses and outdoors, that he wasn't picked up earlier,” Conn said.
Hiram King, another resident of Hunting Creek, says the killing and mutilating of the missing cats is also a surprise.
“Why would anybody want to do anything to a cat for, they do nothing bad,” King said. “Just mean, ain't no excuse for it. I'll be honest with you there's definitely no excuse for it.”
The suspect, Kaine Louzader, is facing first-degree animal abuse charges.
Authorities say Louzader committed the crimes between January 1 and May 9. He was spotted dumping a dead cat from a bag of water on Wild Deer Lane on May 6, court documents say.
Three mutilated kittens and a dead cat were later found. Prosecutors say he would meet people on Craigslist who were selling or giving away kittens or adult cats before taking them back to his home and killing them.
He admitted to the crimes and prosecutors say he also admitted to dismembering them.
The charge can be either a misdemeanor or a felony.
St. Charles Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar says the charge depends on when the cats were mutilated.
“It becomes a felony if the animal was mutilated prior to death, so that is something we're going to have to look at and make sure that in fact we can prove the animals were mutilated before they died,” Lohmar said. “I'm told suspect has scratches on his arms so animal was presumably fighting for his life.”
Lohmar says if someone is capable of torturing and mutilating animals he believes that person could be capable of a whole lot worse.
“We've had several incidents over the years people involved in violent crimes, lo and behold in their background some animal mutilation so it's a scary situation,” Lohmar said.