The killing of three people at an Orange County home last weekend has stunned the tight-knit furry community.
Both the suspects and the victims in the Fullerton slaying had ties to the subculture, which unites people through an affection for animals with human-like qualities.
Some in the furry “fandom,” as the community is often called, admire movies, comics and other art featuring human-like animals. Others don costumes for conventions, bowling and similar social events with other furries.
In a post on Dogpatch Press, an online news site for furries, one person writing under the moniker Patch O’Furr said the killings posed an unprecedented strain.
Prosecutors said two men, Joshua Acosta and Frank Felix, entered a home early Saturday and fatally shot Jennifer Goodwill Yost, 39; her husband, Christopher Yost, 34; and their friend, Arthur William Boucher, 28.
Fullerton police were alerted to the deaths when they received a call from the couple’s 6-year-old daughter, who reported that her parents had died, authorities said. Officers found the three bodies, which had “significant trauma,” according to police. The Yosts’ 6- and 9-year-old daughters were also inside the home but not harmed.
The couple’s 17-year-old daughter was declared missing and possibly at-risk, but she was found a short time later.
Acosta, 21, and Felix, 25, were each charged with three counts of murder and held without bail. Neither entered pleas during a court appearance this week in Santa Ana, and both are scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 28. A 17-year-old girl was also arrested but later released. Her name was not disclosed because she is a minor.
Melinda Giles, a family friend of the Yosts, told the Associated Press that she had met Goodwill Yost and her 17-year-old daughter at furry events. There, the family often wore colorful costumes.
Christopher Parque-Johnson, a member of the SoCal Furs, told the Orange County Register that Goodwill Yost was a “mother figure” for the group, saying that “people looked up to her.”
It’s unclear what motivated the killings.
Giles said she had seen both Felix and Acosta at furry events, and that Goodwill Yost had recently prohibited her teenage daughter from seeing Felix.
Sabo Ludovac, a neighbor, told The Times that Goodwill Yost was uncomfortable about her daughter dating “an older boy.”
Friends have launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for the Yosts’ surviving children. One man wrote that he donated the money he had planned to use to attend furry conventions, adding that he was not attending conventions “for a while.”
A furry-oriented bowling group in La Habra also canceled its regular bowling night until at least 2017, citing the possibility of harm by those outside the furry culture, the Register reported.
“Our main goal is to keep everyone safe,” the group posted on its Facebook page, the Register reported. “We do not want to host a meet while bloods are still running high on all sides.”
Staff writers Veronica Rocha and Anh Do contributed to this report.
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