Eau Claire man accused of stealing, killing dog that was found in 50 gallon drum

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 4:35 PM CST
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CHIPPEWA COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) - An Eau Claire man has been accused of stealing a dog and then killing. He has been charged in Chippewa County court.

Court records show Joshua Erickson has been charged with two counts of theft of movable property, dognapping, three counts of felony bail jumping and mistreatment of animals causing death.

The criminal record says the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office received a call on April 16 regarding a lost dog named Kawani. The dog was believed to have run away but it was noticed that it seemed unlikely as the dog had a shock collar and a in-ground electric fence to keep her on the property. The caller later found the shock collar at the end of the driveway.

Officials spoke with someone who believed they saw Erickson with the dog at Glenloch Tavern in Chippewa Falls.

On May 5, a dog matching the description of Kawani was found at the boar landing in the Town of Wheaton. The owner identified the dog as Kawani and a microchip reading also confirmed the identity of the dog. The dog was found wrapped in a reusable U-Haul blanket and put in a white plastic 50 gallon drum.

Officials interviewed Erickson on May 10 and he claimed that he knew nothing about a missing dog. When asking about any information on his phone, he denied consent to search it.

Officials later got a search warrant and it was found Erickson had messaged someone saying “I killed the dog” and “Its in the camper behind steves”.

Investigators reached out and spoke with Steven Krueger who originally said he did not know anything about the dog. Later he ended up saying he knew the dog was killed on his property and found it there but wanted to protect himself and his friends.

Deputies went to the residence to see tuffs of animal hair, decomposition fluids and a distinct outline of where the dog was lying when it decomposed.

He also told investigators that Erickson did kill the dog but he did not know how. He also did not know who dumped the dog at the boat landing.

Erickson is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 23 for an initial appearance.

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