This must have been one annoying bird:
A peacock that had been a staple in a California neighborhood for years was found shot dead — after someone posted a Craigslist ad taking out a hit on the bird, local reports said.
The online posting went up on June 13, a little more than two weeks before the peacock — nicknamed Mr. P or Azul — was apparently killed in Humboldt County, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
One local resident said a neighbor's daughter recalled seeing a Craigslist ad for a peacock assassination, which makes me wonder why she was on Craigslist looking at hit jobs in the first place.
Here's what the ad posted on June 13 said:
The bird had come to the neighborhood of its own volition six years ago and had become a community mascot. The bird spent most of its time around the home of a couple named Mike and Melissa Glass.
A neighbor in a nearby trailer park was the one that found the slain peacock.
Mike Glass said one of the trailer park residents, a woman named Meredith, found the peacock's body in her yard early Wednesday morning and immediately headed over the the Glasses' property to tell them the news.
"She ran over and could barely talk," Mike said. He went over to her place and inspected the area, finding a large amount of blood on the roof and more in the yard where he eventually fell.
"It's really sad," Melissa said. "It looks like he was up there for a while."
Mike inspected the body and found an entry wound but no exit wound. He suspects it was shot with a .22 or other small-caliber gun. "The bird just bled out slowly for a couple hours," he said.
This is like something straight out of a crime show, but it gets even crazier.
The neighbors noticed that the original Craigslist poster hadn't turned off his location services when he took a screenshot to indicate where the bird lived, so a blue icon hovered over his home in the photo.
Rookie mistake, dude!
Since peacocks are domestic animals and aren't protected under local wildlife laws, police say the animal had to have been caged in order for the hit to be a crime. HOWEVER, it is illegal to discharge a firearm on someone else's property and to treat an animal cruelly out of malice.
A local newspaper contacted the man who owns the home and had this INSANE conversation:
[S]hortly after this post was published we managed to get in touch with the man whose house appears to be indicated in the now-deleted Craigslist ad. His name is Ragen Tilzey.
We'd left him a voicemail saying we wanted to ask about the peacock that had been found dead in his neighborhood. When he called us back he asked us to confirm that the peacock was indeed dead. We said yes and asked if that was news to him.
"Yes, it is," he responded.
We then described the Craigslist ad and told him that neighbors could identify his house in the image. Did he post the ad?
"Well, let me ask you a question," he replied. "Has a crime been committed?"
We said we didn't know whether a crime had been committed and again asked if he'd posted the Craigslist ad.
"I'm not answering anything unless you can tell me if a crime has been committed," Tilzey said.
We explained that the Sheriff's Office is investigating the matter and said that a crime may have been committed if a firearm was discharged in a residential area.
"I don't own a firearm," he responded.
Okay, but the ad appeared to be recruiting someone else to shoot the bird.
"If a crime has been committed then I'm consulting an attorney," Tilzey said. "I believe that would be prudent."
We mentioned that neighbors reported having disagreements with him about the peacock in recent months.
"Legally that's called circumstantial evidence," Tilzey replied.
He then said we don't have permission to identify him or quote anything he said. (Reporters don't need permission to quote people, especially if they've identified themselves as reporters.)
We asked a few more questions but he declined to offer more information.
"Again, I'm not answering any questions," he said. "Thank you for your questions, and I'm hanging up now."
And hang up he did.
Seriously, this is something directly out of a murder mystery novel and I need to know how this madness ends.