WILLIMANTIC -- Police are calling the discovery of a severed animal head in the parking lot of a gentleman's club a disturbing and bizarre crime.
"It was beyond bizarre. I've never seen this," said Willimantic Police Department Cpl. Stanley Parizo.
Cpl. Parizo said a large animal head, weighing around 50 pounds, was discovered in the parking lot of Ultra Violet Cafe, a gentleman's club on Main Street.
The discovery was made around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, and Windham Animal Control officers were instantly called to the scene to remove the head and examine it. Police are unsure what animal it is exactly, but suspect it is in the cow or horse family. A local veterinarian will examine the animal's remains.
Parizo said one of the club employees told a customer she heard there was a decomposing head outside, and that person called police Wednesday evening.
"Pranks are pranks, but we're not looking at this as a prank. There's nothing funny about this," Parizo said.
Police said the head was likely there for 20-30 hours. Investigators are not ruling out the possibility the animal was tortured or maimed, and police have opened up a criminal investigation.
Investigators are looking at surveillance video from the club and a nearby gas station, whose owners tell FOX 61 they had no idea where the head came from.
"I'm surprised it was here because why would anyone take it if they didn't need it or didn't want it? I don't understand," said Frank Cugno.
Police searched the wooded area behind the gentleman's club to see if they could find the rest of the animal, but nothing was found. Parizo said the animal likely was taken from somewhere outside Willimantic.
"We don't have cows or horses within the city, we have neighboring towns that have that kind of stuff, whether it's Columbia or Lebanon, but there are no animals like that in the city," Parizo said.
If you have any information please call 860-465-3135.