BOISE — Last month, the Idaho Humane Society and Boise Police Department asked for the public’s help in identifying a man believed to be getting animals from Craiglist and posting photos and videos on social media after he maimed or killed them. On Tuesday, the FBI arrested a suspect in the case.
But it wasn’t a man, and the alleged culprit was never in Idaho.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it had arrested 19-year-old Krystal Scott, of Kokomo, Indiana, on two felony charges of making and distributing animal crush videos. Animal crushing is a form of abuse that has sometimes been filmed and posted online as pornography for individuals with a “crushing fetish.” It’s a federal crime.
According to the news release, Scott “began posting images and videos over various social media platforms, that depicted Scott torturing and graphically killing cats and dogs by hanging, skinning and other means” beginning in early May and continuing to July 8.
The videos caught the attention of concerned citizens who began their own investigation into Scott’s identity, using clues from the videos, as well as other publicly available data. Those individuals contacted the Boise Police Department and Idaho Humane Society when they believed they had identified the perpetrator to be in the Treasure Valley.
The Boise Police Department classified Scott’s posts as “animal crush videos” and contacted the FBI. Boise police, the Ada County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI were able to track the videos to Scott in Kokomo.
Though the details of the case ended up being quite different from the initial information that sparked the investigation, one aspect appears to have been accurate: Officials said they believe Scott obtained the animals she allegedly tortured “by responding to online ads from individuals who were seeking to give away their unwanted pets for adoption.”
Scott posted images of dead and dismembered animals on Instagram and TikTok up until July 8, officials said. The next day, a federal judge approved a search warrant, which the FBI executed on Tuesday.
“During the search, the FBI recovered numerous animal parts and skulls that were consistent with the size of cats and dogs,” the news release said. “Agents also discovered approximately three live dogs, 12 live cats and several lizards.”
The FBI also recovered the phone used to create and post the crush videos, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
Scott had previously been investigated in May and June by the Kokomo Police Department for animal cruelty complaints, but the department was unable to find cause to bring charges.
“The Boise Police Department is thankful to have played a role in the investigation into this disturbing crime,” said Boise Police Department Deputy Chief Ron Winegar in the news release. “We had concerned people from all over the world contact us about the terrible images they were seeing on social media. Our officers and detectives worked hard to investigate leads here in Boise and partnered with the FBI as the investigation grew and moved out of state.”
Scott could face up to seven years in prison if convicted.
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