New details are emerging about a suspect and possible motive after a goat was found taped up and suffocated at Fallbrook High School.
"We have identified a suspect," said San Diego County Sheriff's Lt. Robert Haley.
Last week, on the day before graduation at Fallbrook High, a 6-month-old goat named Forest was found just before 6 a.m. The goat was suffocated and his legs were duct-taped together along with his muzzle. Another goat who was partially duct-taped survived.
Moments before the incident, a security guard startled a hooded figure and caused the culprit to take off.
"I couldn't believe it," said student Vilma Rodriguez, who owned both goats as part of a 4-H project.
Both goats were Tennessee fainting goats, which are known for fainting when they are scared. Rodriguez said she planned to take Forest to the San Diego County Fair to find a new owner.
"It's not OK for people to be going around and doing this to animals," said Rodriguez.
Two days after 10News aired her story last week, detectives said they received several tips.
"Some kids overheard other kids talking and it appears it was a high school prank," said Haley.
Detectives are not revealing much more information, but 10News learned the suspect is a student at Fallbrook High.
Fallbrook High School Principal Rod King said he has warned the students about pranks.
"In this case, the prank crossed the line and became cruelty to animals," said King.
King said students spend hundreds of dollars to buy and raise each 4-H goat.
"The individual did trespass," said King. "He destroyed someone's property and he should be held responsible."
The animal cruelty aspect makes the crime a felony. Anyone with information is asked to call the Fallbrook sheriff's substation at (760) 728-1113.
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