‘Carl deserves our tears’: Corrections officer cited in abduction, death of Carl the Rooster

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A corrections officer in Mississippi has been cited in the abduction and death of a beloved rooster named Carl Jr. 

According to WLOX,  the officer was terminated and issued a misdemeanor arrest citation by Ocean Springs Police for cruelty to an animal other than a dog or cat.

Carl the Rooster, a well-known figure in downtown Ocean Springs, Mississippi, was often spotted hanging around local businesses where owners would leave out water for him, according to the Sun Herald.

The rooster went missing Sunday from the Gulf Coast community roughly 90 miles east of New Orleans and later was confirmed dead after residents posted videos on social media of people walking off with Carl’s body. 

“So sad, our Carl Junior rooster downtown was killed sometime between Sunday and now … but their identity has yet to be released,” said Connie Moran, former Ocean Springs mayor in a Facebook post Thursday morning.

Moran included a couple of surveillance videos with her post showing what appeared to be a woman carrying a rooster out of a building and walking off while being followed by a group of men.

Ocean Springs Police had the videos and charged a suspect with the crime. The rooster was “a fixture of the community,” said Capt. Ryan Lemaire, who heads the department’s criminal investigation division. “It’s a shame, you know, because it’s a living creature and they didn’t kill it for food because they dumped his body.”

The corrections officer was not taken into custody but will have her first appearance in court on May 4, WLOX reported. 

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Social media exploded with posts decrying the demise of Carl the Rooster, many under the hashtag #justiceforcarljr.

Tasia Kenosky, a resident in Ocean Springs, said many people have connected in the community over the death of Carl in a post on Facebook

“I never thought I’d shed a tear for a rooster, but Carl deserves our tears,” she wrote. “He was happy, very personable, and he brightened so many people’s days.”

Contributing: Joshua Williams and Mike Snider

Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: agilbert@usatoday.com.