“When my friend spotted it, I said, ‘Oh my goodness, it’s the emu,’” says one of the hikers, who spoke on condi-tion of anonymity.
No blood could be seen on the bird, but the hiker said injuries to its beak and head were visible.
The hiker went home, researched the news accounts, and found Wolf’s contact information.
Instead of calling police, the hiker contacted Wolf and told her of the grim discov-ery.
Wolf drove to New Car-lisle immediately. She then went with the hiker to the spot where the emu’s body was found, and identified Andy by a “bump” on one of his legs from a previous in-jury.
There were also new inju-ries to the emu’s beak and head. When Wolf picked Andy up, “The neck didn’t feel right,” she says.
Wolf loaded Andy into her car and took him back to the farm in Buchanan.
Rumors that a local was responsible for killing Andy quickly spread by word of mouth through New Carlisle and lit up Facebook.
One New Carlisle mother told police her son “had heard at school” that one of the suspects “had taken the animal and killed it with an unknown friend,” according to New Carlisle Police De-partment documents.
A town employee was also quoted in New Carlisle police records of “hearing talk of a (suspect) who had stole, tor-tured, and killed an emu.”
Meanwhile, the New Car-lisle Police Department as-sisted the Department of Natural Resources with a state investigation into poaching of fox and deer in the area — a probe targeting the New Carlisle suspect.
Roseboom says the New Carlisle end of the investiga-tion into Andy’s death was completed and sent to Michigan before Thanksgiv-ing.
The New Carlisle report included statements from witnesses, at least one of the suspects, and Wolf’s ac-count.
“Since (one of the sus-pects) lived in Michigan, (Michigan State Police) had to interview him,” Wolf says, “and I needed to get the rest of my report to Michigan police.”
But after several attempts by Wolf to contact Trooper Sweet, she “didn’t get any re-sponse.”
Her next call went to Berrien County Animal Control Director Val Grimes Nov. 28.
“I received everything from (Wolf),” says Grimes, who has reviewed the case “thoroughly” and recom-mends that it be charged as a felony animal cruelty case.
“These kids planned on doing it,” Grimes says. “This wasn’t just jumping across the fence and doing it. They planned on doing it.”
After unsuccessful at-tempts to reach out to Sweet, Wolf contacted a victims ad-vocate at the Berrien County prosecutors office for help in getting information.
“She couldn’t get informa-tion,” Wolf says. “On (Dec.) 20th she called back and said no paperwork had been filed.”