Coral Gables Police Probe Dead Dog In Pool

CORAL GABLES (CBS4) – Coral Gables Police are investigating a family’s suspicions that their dog was killed as payback for a cat mauling that occurred two days earlier.

Chester, an American Bulldog, was found dead in the pool behind his family’s home on April 14th.

“It’s too much of a coincidence,” said Mayra Joli-Befera.

Joli-Befera said Chester gave her family great “love and devotion” after she and her husband Steven and their son Ishmael adopted the dog, a stray they found in a park.

On April 12th, two days before Chester was found dead, Laura Fabar, a neighbor a few blocks away, filed a police report saying she suspected the Befera’s dog of mauling two of her cats, killing one of them – a tabby named “Lucky.”

The day Chester was discovered in the pool, Liana Fabar-Jahann, Fabar’s 25 year-old daughter, delivered a “to whom it may concern” letter to Befera’s house.  The seven page letter expressed heartbreak over the loss of the cat and anger that the dog had been allowed to roam.

“I must admit feeling so angry I wanted to figuratively, kill the dog responsible,” Fabar-Jahann wrote in the letter that concluded with the line, “Not ALL dogs go to heaven.”

Given the allegations that Chester had mauled the neighbors’ cats, and the angry letter they received, the Beferas had a necropsy – the animal equivalent of an autopsy – performed on their dog.

Dr. Roberto Aguiar found that Chester had suffered “trauma” to both sides of his head, the back of his neck, and his chest before going into the pool.

Aguiar told CBS4 News that it appeared the dog had been beaten with an “object” of some sort.

In his report to the Befera family, the veterinarian said the dog’s “nails and paws had no damage, which means he did not try to claw himself out of the pool.”

“It has been my experience that dogs have the innate ability to swim, and do not drown,” The vet said.

The Beferas say Chester had played in the pool a number of times and had no trouble getting out.

The family filed a report with police, giving them the veterinarian’s findings and expressing concern that the alleged cat mauling was behind their dog’s death.

Laura Fabar declined to comment for this story, but her husband called CBS4 News to emphatically refute the Beferas’ suspicions.

“We categorically deny having anything to do with the death of the dog,” Thomas Equels said.  “If you publish any aspersions as it relates to that, action will be taken.”

Equels went on to suggest that the dog’s owners should be the first to be questioned.

“You should pay close attention to those who had possession of the dog,” Equels said.  “That’s a logical place to look.”

Liana Fabar-Jahann, who wrote the angry letter to the Beferas the day Chester was discovered dead, told CBS4 News, “I don’t believe in an eye for an eye.  I wrote a letter so they would keep their dog in, and under control.”

As for the “kill the dog” reference in her letter, Fabar-Jahann said “I meant that figuratively, not literally.”

Coral Gables police have interviewed members of both families and their probe is on-going.

“I want to see justice for Chester,” Mayra Joli-Befera said.  “This is not a matter of vengeance.  This is not a matter of getting back at anybody.  Our dog was innocent.”

The Beferas say Chester did not maul the Fabar’s cats, that he has an alibi.

“He was home, with us,” Joli-Befera said.

More from Gary Nelson
Comments

One Comment

  1. Fred says:

    CATS and dogs should not be allowed to roam freely! Cat owners seem to have the belief that cats should be able to roam without penalty.

    1. irish kevin says:

      Fred, have you ever tried putting a leash on a cat? 🙂

  2. claire says:

    the Fabars should be charged. a dog attacking a cat is one thing; humans intentionally killing a dog is deplorable and should be punished

  3. Sarah Wasserman says:

    Your cats wouldnt have been mauled had they been protected!! I own and ADORE my siamese, Herbert… but when he wants to venture outside, its in an enclosed area of the backyard that we screened in for him. Just as the post above me says, animals will be animals… but when people lose moral control its just a shame.

  4. BUSTER'S MOMMY says:

    FIRST OF ALL…. R.I.P. CHESTER… YOU SWEET BABY BOY… HOW CAN A PERSON TAKE A PIPE OR WHATEVER AND HIT THAT SWEET BABY… YOU HAVE TO BE A REAL.LY LOW LIFE SCUM PIECE OF CRAP… CHESTER’S FAMILY RESCUED HIM… THIS WOMAN AND I WONT CALL HER A LADY THREATHENED HIM SAID SHE WANTED TO KILL HIM… NOW POOR CHESTER IS DEAD AND HE WAS IN HIS OWN YARD AND PATIO… SO THAT MEANS THAT LYDIA WENT INTO OR ONTO THER PROPERTY AND PREMEDITATED CHESTER’S DEATH… THAT MAKES YOU A MURDERER LYDIA OR WHOEVER YOU HIRED TO DO IT… WHAT GOES AROUND…COMES AROUND…. WHEN SHE GETS HERS SHE WILL DESERVE IT ALL…. WHEN YOU MEET YOUR MAKER, I DONT THINK YOU WILL BE GOING INTO THE PEARLY GATES LYDIA…

  5. MiamiMex says:

    This is scary to me.

    When people start doing things like this, they really should be sent bac to wherever they came from.

  6. TwanTru says:

    insane people

    dog killers

    I pray they are brought to justice

  7. James Dussias says:

    Chester never left the yard. He was a very gentle dog and definitely did not do anything to the Equel’s cat.
    The cat was attacked at night ,apparently. Chester was kept inside at night, he slept indoors.
    The Equel’s were just looking for someone to pay the vet bills for their cat.
    What adult writes a seven page letter about anything, let alone a stranger who they randomly selected to put their vet bill on?

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