SAN DIEGO -- A heartbreaking discovery in a Mount Hope neighborhood may be the latest in a string of mysterious injuries and disappearances.
“He’s one's my best friends,” said a tearful Yadira Silva.
Her family’s 4-year-old outdoor cat, Mitch, didn't come back to their home on Morrison Street Friday.
Days later and a few streets away on 41st, Sofi Reyes did see Mitch.
“My dad was walking in this area and saw the kitty laying down on the side of the house,” said Silva.
Sofi Reyes also went outside and recorded the encounter on her phone.
“I was horrified when I saw him,” said Reyes.
The extent of his injuries were apparent after Silva's family got him back. Mitch's teeth and jaw were broken. One eye was blinded. There was an ugly wound near his nose.
“It appeared to be a chemical burn,” said Silva.
Silva believes the injuries are man-made.
Mitch had to be put down Tuesday.
It's the latest incident in a growing mystery also involving 10 stray cats.
“There were a lot of cats running around and little by little, they began disappearing since March,” said Brenda Salas, Silva’s mother.
Salas showed us a photo of a stray black cat, spotted missing an eye in March, before it vanished.
As 10News was wrapping up an interview Thursday afternoon, the last remaining stray in the neighborhood – an orange-striped cat -- walked right up to the crew.
On its tail was dried blood. On its behind was a deep, perfectly circular mark -- the size of a cigarette or bb pellet.
Reyes is now tending to that cat.
If you have information on the case, call County Animal Services.