Laguna Beach police are baffled by a series of headless animals that have washed up on the city’s beaches since last Thursday.
So far, two decapitated goats, three headless chickens and one headless rooster have been found on the sand, Sgt. Jason Kravetz said.
“We are disturbed by the find and are investigating the incident,” Kravetz said.
All but one of the carcasses were found Nov. 8. A decapitated chicken and a headless goat were found around 2 p.m. at Picnic Beach in the 400 block of Cliff Drive by beachgoers, Kravetz said.
Another headless goat carcass and two chicken carcasses were found at Sleepy Hollow beach, about ¼ mile south of Picnic Beach around 4 p.m. the same day.
Today another headless chicken, believed to be a rooster, was reported at Heisler Park below the lawn bowling area in the vicinity of the first findings.
The goat carcasses were stuffed inside large bags for bulk purple onions, Kravetz said. The poultry carcasses were not covered.
Police believe the carcasses — which were wet — likely washed up from the ocean, Kravetz said.
“We think they washed up because of the extremely high tide we had last week,” he said. “We have had no reports of unusual occurrences on the beach."
Laguna Beach is the only city so far reporting headless animal carcasses on the beach, Kravetz said.
“We contacted the Animal Cruelty Task Force in LA, Newport Beach and other beach cities and there is nothing similar in other areas,” he said.
No paraphernalia was found on the Laguna beach locations that might indicate the cause or purpose of the beheadings.
Kravetz said that police are looking into the possibility that the decapitations could be a Halloween prank, or that fishermen have been using the animals’ blood to attract game fish in the ocean. The other possibility is that the decapitations are ritual killings such as those performed in Santeria, a Caribbean religion which involves animal sacrifice.
Kravetz said police will contact the city’s goat herder to see if any goats have gone missing. The goats are now grazing in South Laguna, creating a fire break for the area.
Anyone with information about the carcasses should call Laguna Beach Police at (949) 497-0701.