Volunteers to clean area where beheaded animal carcasses found along Courtney Campbell Causeway

Cermonial items left next to slaughtered animals
Posted at 7:40 PM, Sep 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-16 19:40:08-04

The Tampa Police Dept. is actively investigating a gruesome discovery made off the Courtney Campbell Causeway this week.

Investigators are still trying to find who left several mangled animal carcasses along the northern access road.

"They're dismembering animals," said animal advocate Lisa Hayworth, who found the animal carcasses. "A big load of animals - from goats, to ducks, to a roosters to other chickens. There was probably at least 12 in that spot.”

Hayworth found several dead, beheaded chickens east of the causeway's boat ramp. The very same night, she found the bodies of a multi-colored goat, a duck, and a bird.

“A big load of animals," said Hayworth. "From goats, to ducks, to roosters to other chickens. There was probably at least 12 in that spot.”

Hayworth said she's found animal carcasses and strange items in the area multiple times before.  

She said a group of volunteers will be performing a coastal cleanup along the Courtney Campbell Causeway Saturday.

The causeway is a popular spot for recreation, but the place known for beautiful Tampa Bay scenery was the dumping ground for an ugly act.

“That really sickens me to be honest," said cyclist Brad Scharp.

“It’s disheartening to think somebody is hurting animals intentionally.”

Hayworth took multiple pictures documenting the scene. She also found a pile fruit and flowers placed next to some of the carcasses.

Those items are now leading investigators to question if this was a religious-inspired ceremony.

The law allows animal sacrifices in some cases, but Tampa Police Department spokesperson, Steve Hegarty, said evidence in this case points to possible animal cruelty charges as well as improper disposal.    

“Even if it is a religious ceremony of some sort, you can’t just dump a carcass in a public place like that," said Hegarty. "It is a health hazard, that’s a problem.”