Washington State suspects that a single person is behind a series of brutal cat kills that killed at least 13 animals.

The 13th cat was found on Thurston County near Olympia, Washington on Thursday. Most cats were found in public places and did not seem to have been killed by wild animals.

A cat found earlier this week was surgically slashed and laid out to see people, according to a report from The New York Times . The authorities believe the murders are tied to a single person.

In some cases the thorns of the cats were removed; Some cats have been found fragmented, the publication reports. The methods used suggest an experienced killer.

"I feel for the pet owners because I am a pet owner myself and the way these animals died is extremely appalling." Thurston County Animal Services Officer Erika Johnson told KCPQ-TV earlier this month in regards to the seventh reported killing. Johnson said it appears that a scalpel was used in the killings.

The mutilations have been occurring since February, according to a local shelter that offers a $ 36,000 reward for the case.

Most incidents happened in August, reports the Times

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Kathy Harrigan's deaf, 20-year-old cat Harley was one of the victims of the killings, Harrigan said USA TODAY [19659006] "He did not want to be inside, so he lived in our garden, he was deaf and had no muscle tone, he did not like people, but he loved my husband and me as we loved him," she wrote. "It's heartbreaking that he was killed and hurt as he was."

Contribution: KING-TV, Seattle.

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