Latest in the search for suspect in Delphi double murder investigation

Muncie man facing animal cruelty charges for shooting, burning mother’s pets

MUNCIE, Ind.- A Muncie man was arrested in connection with the brutal killing of a kitten and a rabbit.

Clinton Ricker, 32, is facing animal cruelty charges. On Friday morning, officers were called to a home on North Buckles. A 56-year-old woman reported that her two pets were dead.

Ricker’s mother told detectives she left her home for about 30 minutes. When she returned, she found her pet rabbit and kitten in the wood burning stove.

“That’s horrifying, terrible. It makes me almost afraid that someone that close to me could do that to a pretty helpless animal,” said neighbor Emily Vandever.

Detectives believe Ricker shot his mother’s pets with perhaps a BB gun and then put them in the stove. When officers arrived to the home both the animals were burnt on the front porch.

“We see a decent amount of neglect cases, left out in the cold, not fed, beaten but executed and incinerated is not anything in eight years I’ve been around I’ve heard of,” explains Detective Kyle Monroe with the Muncie Police Department.

According to court papers, Ricker admitted to detectives that he threw the rabbit in the stove “out of mercy.” He claimed the rabbit had a tumor and he was “trying to get rid of it because it was going to die.” Ricker’s mother told investigators her pet rabbit, Caramel wasn’t sick.

“How sad, I can’t imagine life without my pets. It’s a sad case. It’s a sad person that does something like that,” said neighbor Carla Hulic.

The kitten was just a few months old and it didn’t even have a name yet. Ricker didn’t give any reason behind the kitten’s death.

“It bothers me. It’s shocking and appalling to hear someone could do something like that to an animal,” said Vandever.

When CBS4 stopped by the Muncie home, no one answered the door.

Detectives tell us there were other animals inside the home. The kitten and rabbit were the only two animals hurt.

Ricker is also facing a misdemeanor charge for threatening police officers.

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