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Police: Online activity led us to alleged cat killer

Police in Miami-Dade arrest an 18-year-old "dog-loving class clown" and accuse him of murdering at least 19 cats. Key to the arrest, police say, was an analysis of the suspect's Facebook and MySpace pages.

Miami-Dade police believe that a dog-loving class clown who joined the "Catch the Cat Killer!" Facebook group may be the alleged cat killer himself, according to a report in the Miami Herald.

The Miami-Dade cat killer had been terrorizing neighborhoods, especially the towns of Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay, since May 10, when the first two carcasses were found, mutilated in a such a way as to cause maximum horror for whoever discovered them.

CC Higgy STPFC/Flickr

The man police arrested on suspicion of the crimes, 18-year-old Tyler Hayes Weinman, is known as a "dog-loving class clown and a swim class instructor," according to the Herald.

The police told the paper that they arrested Weinman after taking a close look at his Facebook and MySpace postings. While not revealing more about the specific postings, police noted that Weinman had joined the Facebook group "Catch the Cat Killer!"

The group, with over 1,600 members, has since become a closed group. Organizer Brittany Barton said in a posting on the group's page that she had been forced to restrict activity.

"I will be opening up the comment wall and discussion board only once a week so that I can keep some control over the 'disturbing comments' that some people have made. And no, I cannot delete EVERYTHING that some of you may not want to read- I simply don't have the time," she wrote.

She appears to have been shaken by the sheer venom that was expressed on the group's wall. And she cautioned members to allow due process to occur before leaping to judgment.

"This is a very stressful situation to us all, but wait for the judge to bang the gavel before you go around saying things you may regret," she said.

Weinman has been charged with 19 counts of felony animal cruelty, 19 counts of improperly disposing of an animal body, and 4 counts of burglary, the Miami Herald reports.