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Man Charged With Killing Girlfriends Family Dog: DA

What to Know

  • A New York City man is facing animal cruelty charges after allegedly killing his girlfriends family dog, authorities say

  • Brando Henriquez, 23, of Queens, allegedly made his girlfriend and her family think the dog ran away

  • Prosecutors say surveillance video shows Henriquez carrying a bag, allegedly with the dog inside, and disposing it in a nearby parking lot

A New York City man is facing animal cruelty charges after allegedly killing his girlfriends family dog, which she thought went missing, and disposing its body in a nearby parking lot, authorities say.

According to the Queens District Attorney, Brando Henriquez, 23, of Woodside, Queens, has been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and overdriving, torturing and injuring animals in connection to the alleged incidents that occurred last month.

Prosecutors say that Henriquezs girlfriend left her Broad Channel residence on the afternoon of July 15, 2018, leaving Lavonia, her black and white Shih Tzu-type dog, alone in the single-family residence, however, when she returned after approximately a half-hour, Henriquez was allegedly alone in the residence and claimed that he didnt know what happened to the dog, suggesting that the dog might have escaped.

After several days of searching for the dog and putting up lost dog poster, on July, 19, the mother and brother of Henriquezs girlfriend found Lavonias decomposing remains in a white plastic bag, disposed at a parking lot a few blocks from their home, according to authorities.

In a subsequent investigation into the alleged incident, police allegedly obtained video camera footage from several locations along the route, which allegedly showed Henriquez leaving his girlfriends residence with a white plastic bag containing a lump shortly after she had left, prosecutors say.

Additional footage allegedly showed Henriquez crouching down behind a garbage as a passerby walks nearby him. According to authorities, the video then shows Henriquez run down the block, still holding the white bag, which his girlfriend recognized as the type and brand she had purchased.

Allegedly, Henriquezs girlfriend received two voicemails on July 20th and 21, in which he stated, “Im so sorry, Im sorry” and “Im sorry about the dog.”

Prosecutors also say that on Aug. 2, Henriquez allegedly called his mother saying that the dog had defecated and that he performed CPR on the dog in the bathtub.

A necropsy was performed by an ASPCA forensic veterinarian on the dog, allegedly found that the dog was in an advanced state of decomposition and that the dog had four rib fractures due to blunt force trauma, according to the complaint, which also added that there was no evidence of healing to the fractures, indicating that they occurred shortly before or after death.

“The defendant is accused of aggravated cruelty to animals for brutally killing a small helpless dog and heartlessly offering false hope to his girlfriend and family by making them think that the dog had just run away,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.

Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

“For the next four days she and family members searched the area and put up missing dog posters in the belief that they would find the dog alive, sadly, only to find the dogs remains where the defendant allegedly disposed of them,” he added.

Henriquez is due back in court Aug. 22. If convicted, he faces up to two years in prison.

Contact information for Henriquezs attorney could not be found.

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