An East Moline woman says she still can't bring herself to tell her six-year old daughter that the family pet she'd grown to love, has been shot and killed.
"This was a family dog. A part of the family. He slept with us. Yesterday she said, mom is Ycee coming home? Is he okay? I told her, 'Yes, he's okay,'" said Virginia Torres.
But it's not true. Ycee, pronounced "Icy," was a four-year-old part Austrailian Shepard, part pit mix who died from a single shot from a twelve gauge, allegedly at the hands of an angry neighbor.
"The shot went through his neck, through the other side," Torres said in an interview with WQAD-TV.
"It's cold blooded murder. Again, why did he have to shoot him, 140 feet away? He was almost home," Torres said, stopping to wipe away tears. "Why did he shoot him?"
Michael Coulter, 44, is charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and reckless discharge of a firearm. Police say he told them the dog charged him and in his own dogs in his yard. Investigators found the dog's body dumped in a creek in Mercer County.
"Why did he drag the body across the street, to his house and then hide the body? What was he hiding? He knew he had done wrong. Can you imagine how devastated I was when they went to pick up his body at the creek and brought it over to me on Valentines Day?" she recounted.
Ycee originally belonged to Torres's daughter, who moved to Atlanta. Torres has been the caretaker since October. She says the dog has gotten loose "three or four" times, but would never bite anyone.
She admits it is possible he may have gotten aggressive with other dogs, but questions if anything really did happen, why Coulter didn't call police or animal control, instead of taking matters into his own hands.
"Maybe that's his new hobby now. Hunting loose dogs and killing them. I don't hate him. I just don't understand why he did it. I just hope he realizes he did wrong."