Surveillance Video Leads Police to Couple Suspected of Burning Dog in West Haven

Court documents state the suspects claimed they were cremating the dog, but police said their investigation suggests otherwise.

Police made a second arrest Tuesday in a disturbing case involving dead dog was found burned at the Sandy Point Beach Parking lot after the 4th of July.

West Haven Police say 41-year-old Maurice Jackson was arrested Tuesday. He faces charges of open burning, breach of peace, and illegal dumping charges alongside his girlfriend, 34-year-old Latrice Moody. Moody was arrested Monday and is out of jail on $30,000 bond. She also faces an animal cruelty charge.

The couple claims they were cremating Moody’s dog.

In court documents, they say after their lengthy investigation "this type of behavior is not indicative of someone who wanted to cremate a beloved pet, but rather someone who wanted to simply dispose of an animal."

NBC Connecticut obtained exclusive surveillance video from the Elm Street Citgo just after midnight on July 5.

According to arrest warrant documents, this is what led West Haven Police to Moody and Jackson.

Court documents describe what’s caught on camera. Police say Jackson is seen buying a gas can and then filling it up before driving away in Moody’s car.

While Moody first said her dog Brooklyn ran away, police said she eventually admitted to wrapping the approximately 8-year-old Yorkshire Terrier in a towel and lighting it on fire with gasoline leaving folks to find the disturbing burn scene when the sun rose.

Police say a post on Moody’s Facebook memorialized her dead dog on July 5.

"Yesterday after having the best 4th of July ever, I came home to find my Brooklyn called home to doggie heaven."

"It makes me sick I have a dog, I would never. The people should burn like the dog burns," said Christine Turcio of North Haven.

Those we spoke to at the West Haven gas station are glad cameras helped catch the suspected couple.

"A dog can’t talk back. I think when a person misuses someone like a dog or baby, I think it should be prosecuted very highly," said Kelly Moye of New Haven.

As locals continue to memorialize the pooch alongside the shore, police say extensive lab testing showed the dog had extensive kidney, cardio vascular issues and a dislocated leg, leading police to believe Brooklyn was neglected in its life even before it died and was burned.

In court documents, Jackson’s parole officer even recalls visiting their home a month before the burn investigation and seeing animal that looked in pain as it was walking on the "knuckle" of it’s leg. Police say Jackson has an extensive criminal history.

We tried speaking with who we believe was Moody earlier in the day, but she drove away. According to court documents, police say she told them she didn’t know "if Brooklyn was really sick because she never brought the dog to the vet."

Moody is expected in court August 20.

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