Florida

A dead pit bull was found underwater, still in its cage. The tomb held clues, cops say.

David Austin III
David Austin III Clay County Sheriff's Office

It took more than six months to track down a suspect in a dog's death in Clay County, but an arrest was finally made on Thursday.

David Austin III, 38, was in police custody on Thursday, slapped with a charge of animal cruelty.

In November 2017, a pit bull was found submerged in a creek in Orange Park, Florida, a suburb of Jacksonville. The female dog was trapped inside a kennel that looked to have been anchored down with a concrete block, the Clay County Sheriff's Office reports.

The pit bull's cause of death was listed at a local animal clinic as non-accidental probable drowning, adds Action News Jax.

Investigators discovered clues as to the dog's owner inside the underwater tomb. Along with trash, debris and a blanket, officers spotted a class schedule from Jefferson Davis Middle School in Jacksonville. Despite the paper being drenched, the student identification number was still readable.

On May 22, authorities set out to track down the student with the matching ID number.

A conversation with the juvenile's parent revealed that the family had decided to get rid of the pet because it had bitten their daughter. Deputies subsequently arrested the child's father, Austin III.

Last week, a 9-month-old girl was killed by a pit bull while she sat in a bouncy chair at her grandmother's home in Pompano Beach. Miami-Dade County banned pit bulls as pets about 30 years ago after attacks on humans.

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