NEW BADEN, IL (KTVI)-- Police are investigating a disturbing new case of animal abuse in New Baden, IL, about 30 miles east of St. Louis.
Area children say a teenager beat a kitten to death with a skateboard at the city park.
The pet's owners are saddened; their children traumatized.
Kristin Neu said she found the family`s kitten, Tomale, in a trash can at the park; the kitten`s neck broken; blood and foam coming from its mouth.
Police had yet to make an arrest, but said they were taking the case very seriously.
Neu said as much as she wanted the teen with skateboard punished, she wanted their to be some sort of intervention in his life.
"He needs help. He needs to talk to someone and find out what the root of his issues are that he would harm an innocent animal," she said.
Tomale was named after two of the family`s other cats, Tom and Molly.
Tomale, about 6 months old, had wondered up the family`s home a couple of months ago, when Neu`s fiancé was calling for Tom and Molly.
"She was black and white and her name was Tomale," lamented, Neu`s son, Nathan, 8.
"Tomale," echoed Nathan`s sister, Zoey, 5. "One day when my dad was calling out the window, he was screaming, `Tom and Molly`, and the cat came and they named it Tomale," Zoey remembered.
About 10 days ago, Tomale got away from home and ended up at the park a couple blocks from home.
Neu her fiancé started searching. When they got to the park, kids kept telling them a story they didn`t want to believe: a couple of teenagers had viciously killed Tomale.
Neu`s children were kissing photos of Tomale Tuesday night.
"The cat was thrown towards him and he used the skateboard as a baseball bat and swung at her and that`s what killed her," Neu said. "It was the hardest thing I had to do was to pull a kitten that we had just gotten for our kids out of a trash can and find out that some kids who were supposed to be up her skating, just doing innocent stuff, could sit there and murder a kitten," she sobbed.
Police said they were not only concerned about the crime that may have been committed, but also the troubling futures of teenagers who could do something such a thing.
Follow me: on Twitter@andybankertv