INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana woman has been arrested on federal animal cruelty charges in a case that involved help from Idaho law enforcement agencies.
Krystal Cherika Scott, 19, of Kokomo, Ind. was arrested Wednesday and charged with two counts of making and distributing “animal crush videos,” according to Josh J. Minkler, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.
"As decent human beings, we have a great responsibility to protect and have compassion for the animals that inhabit this earth." said Minkler. "It is unconscionable to think that any human being could possible bring themselves to such acts upon an animal. We cannot allow this behavior in a decent and moral society. That is why Ms. Scott must face the consequences of her choices."
The investigation began in May after Scott began posting images and videos on social media that depicted her torturing and graphically killing cats and dogs by hanging, skinning and other means.
Her conduct attracted the attention of several people who shared the posts with law enforcement and the Humane Society.
On June 16, the Boise Police Department received tips from concerned citizens who saw the posts online and opened an investigation. After reviewing the videos and images, officers concluded that they constituted "animal crush videos," which is a federal violation.
Boise Police contacted the FBI, who began working to identify the perpetrator. Working in conjunction with BPD and the Ada County Sheriff's Office, Krystal Scott of Kokoma, Indiana, was identified as the person responsible for torturing and killing the animals, then posting the videos.
Investigators say Scott obtained the animals by responding to online ads from people seeking to give away unwanted pets for adoption.
The FBI in Indianapolis joined the investigation and learned that Kokomo Police Department had recently contacted Scott after receiving similar animal cruelty complaints in May and June. At that time, Kokomo Police were unable to make an arrest and were unaware of the other investigations involving Scott.
Meanwhile, Scott continued to post images of dead animals on Instagram and Tik-Tok as late as July 8, 2020.
On July 9, an Indiana judge approved the execution of search warrants seeking additional evidence from Scott's person, residence, and vehicles.
On July 14, Special agents of the FBI and other law enforcement officers executed the warrants. During the search, the FBI recovered numerous animal parts and skulls that were consistent with the size of cats and dogs. Agents also found approximately three live dogs, 12 live cats, and several lizards.
FBI recovered and seized the cell phone used to produce and distribute the animal crushing videos. A full forensic analysis of the phone is currently underway.
"The Boise Police Department is thankful to have played a role in the investigation into this disturbing crime. We had concerned people from all over the world contact us about the terrible images they were seeing on social media. Our officers and detectives worked hard to investigate leads here in Boise and partnered with the FBI as the investigation grew and moved out of state." said Boise Police Department Deputy Chief Ron Winegar. "We also want to thank the Ada County Sheriff's Office for their assistance as well as the public for their many tips and patience as we worked to see this investigation through."
If convicted, prosecutors say Scott faces up to 7 years in prison, 3 years of supervised release, and a maximum fine of $250,000.
Watch more crime news:
See the latest Treasure Valley crime news in our YouTube playlist: