One person is charged in the Tinkerbell case, the cat who was set on fire last month and died Monday.
Texas County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Anderson filed felony charges Thursday against Collin J. Beesler, 17, of 704 First St. in Cabool.
As a result of his alleged involvement in a late June incident in which Tinkerbell, a young female cat was intentionally set on fire in Cabool, Beesler is charged with animal abuse/torture/mutilation while animal was alive - persistent offender, a felony. He is being held in the Texas County Jail. Bond was set at $75,000, according to online court documents.
A complaint filed with the Texas County Associate Circuit Court indicates that Beesler purposely set the cat on fire using lighter fluid on June 21 at about 10:15 p.m. A probable cause statement issued by the Cabool Police Department indicates that a juvenile male was also involved, and that Beesler told investigators he held Tinkerbell while the juvenile sprayed lighter fluid on her and then set the cat on the ground before the accomplice lit the fire. Cabool authorities said Friday that the juvenile suspect, who is reportedly 16, has been referred to juvenile authorities. The police statement said Beesler was arrested on July 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Tinkerbell died Monday due to extensive infection caused by burns over most of her body.
The Houston Herald earlier this week received information indicating that the Cabool Police Department had identified two suspects in the case. Additional information is being sought and will be presented when available.
EARLIER: The saga of Tinkerbell, the small, young female cat that was intentionally burned in a late June incident in Cabool, ended at about noon Monday when she died at Texas County Veterinary Clinic in Houston.
The Cabool Police Department said the case has been turned over to the Texas County prosecutor's office and that charges are pending against two persons. On Wednesday morning, a prosecutor's office representative said the case was still in the review process and a decision reached within a week or two.
Dr. Steven Root said Tinkerbell's body basically shut down, unable to fight off massive infection resulting from her burn injuries and subsequent extensive skin loss.
"The infection went septic and caused her to go into multi-organ system failure," Root said. "The infection was just too much for her little body to fight."
Before her death, Tinkerbell's situation had worsened to the point that she had been put on IVs and was being tube-fed.
"Though all of this, I never once suggested putting her down because she kept such a positive attitude," Root said. "It got to be where 80 to 90 percent of her body was open wound.
"You hate to lose her, but she's not suffering now and that's all a person can say that's good about it."
On a Facebook page called "Justice for Tinkerbell" that was set up by The Animal Shelter of Texas County, comments from people all over the United States had been posted since the cat's story became public, including ones from California, Florida, Pennsylvania and Utah.
A few concerned individuals even donated to a fund to cover Tinkerbell's medical bills, including a young local girl who contributed her "Tooth Fairy money" of $1 to the cause.
Shelter President Rita Romines said Tinkerbell's body would be cremated and a garden complete with a gravestone would be created in her honor on the shelter grounds.