Sailors charged after cat found dead due to suffocation

26-year-old Justin Corey Fitzgerald Page and 23-year-old Cody Craig Gerarden (Photo credit: Virginia Beach Police)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Two people in Virginia Beach are facing animal cruelty charges after officials say a domesticated cat was suffocated to death.

Virginia Beach police arrested and charged Navy Sailors 26-year-old Justin Corey Fitzgerald Page and 23-year-old Cody Craig Gerarden.

A spokesperson with the city’s animal control office said someone told them the cat had been killed. Officials found the cat near the 1000 block of Prosperity Road in Virginia Beach on April 10. A vet performed a necropsy on the cat and discovered it had been suffocated.

A microchip in the cat indicated Page was the owner. Police have not said what role Gerarden played in the case. Justin Page lives just across the street from where the cat was found.

“It’s a sad situation because anytime animal cruelty, one of the parts that rises it to a felony is the willful intent of killing the animal. We don’t normally see that severe of a case.” Virginia Breach Animal Control Officer Meghan Conti said.

According to the investigation, Page and Gerarden are accused of strangling the cat. Page and Gerarden have both been released from jail on bond, and the case remains under investigation.

10 On Your Side tracked down Justin Page, but he would not comment. He referred us to the Navy’s legal department. When 10 On Your Side told Page we’d like to hear his side of the story, he replied, “I bet you would.”

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