AURORA, Co. -- An Aurora woman believes she was tricked in a serial cat killer's twisted plot and now, Thornton Police are investigating what they believe could be a lengthy history of animal abuse.
Photos are all that Angela Lewis has left of her 8-year-old cat Ashy. It was hard enough when she had to find him a new home, as he wasn’t getting along with other pets.
"So I had posted my Bengal cat on Craigslist," said Lewis.
After a few months, she got a hit from Evan Bretches, 38.
‘Hey I think this awesome guy would be perfect for me. What's the re-homing fee?’ said Lewis of their correspondence.
There was no charge, just a meet and greet to make sure it was a good fit. Lewis, her boyfriend and Ashy met Bretches at a Starbucks.
"I believed that this was a good Christian man. He seemed like a really awesome guy, like someone I would have been friends with in college," said Lewis. "About six hours after he left with Ashy, he said that this was such a blessing. That he couldn't believe how well this had worked out."
He even promised her updates and pictures, but then he stopped responding to her texts and phone calls. Worried, she tells Denver7, she Googled him and found out he had been arrested for violating parole from an arrest and animal abuse conviction in 2016. Court documents show he also failed to show for a probation meeting.
"What happened to [the] cat in garage?" asked an officer in a Thornton PD interrogation video on February 26, 2016.
At the time, officers found a dead cat beaten with a hammer in his now estranged-family's garage.
"No, I let him out of the box…he went berserk on me..trying to bite me so I punched him," said Bretches.
He then told the officer it was not intentional, but also admitted to something similar happening once before. In that incident, Bretches was also charged with a child abuse negligence and possession of drug paraphernalia, both misdemeanors.
Bretchers is currently in Adams County jail for violating parole.
Forensic psychologist Nicole Schneider can't speak to Bretches' case, but she has seen this behavior before.
"Cruelty to animals is a focus of clinical concern," said Schneider. "There's certainly a variety of reasons why an individual would engage in animal abuse, ranging from thrill seeking to anger, to attention seeking, to revenge."
Bretches stated in the 2016 interview that he started looking for cats on Craigslist as a way to make money, initially, by selling a particular cat he acquired on Craigslist, to a man out of state.
"If you look on Craigslist, there's so many people selling cats,” said Bretches.
One thing is for sure: Angela's cat is missing and she fears the worst.
"The guilt that I have felt for making the decision that I made got my child cat killed because my cats are like my kids," said Lewis. "I feel like I have to get justice for my kitty cat and all the other kitty cats he's killed and I’ve tried my best to prevent this from happening again."
Thornton PD is investigating this case. The Adams County District Attorney’s office told Denver 7 the prosecutor in this case overhead a reference made to the defendant possibly admitting to eight other cat killings in a recent hearing.
If you believe you are a victim, please call Sgt. Stevens at (720) 977-5075.