A Golden Valley man was arrested this week on dozens of counts of animal cruelty, after Mohave County Sheriff’s deputies allegedly found a freezer filled with almost 200 deceased animals on his property.
Mohave County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the home of 43-year-old Michael P. Turland on April 3, after a Phoenix woman reported finding the deceased animals in the freezer, which was located in a garage on the property. According to deputies, the reporting party believed some of those animals may have belonged to her.
Responding deputies spoke with the reporting party at the scene. According to investigators, the reporting party owned snakes in Phoenix, and had reached an agreement with Turland to allow him to breed her reptiles on his property before returning them to her. After several months, she was unable to contact Turland to see her snakes returned to her. The reporting party was later allegedly told by the property owner that Turland and his wife, identified as Brooklyn Beck, had moved out of state.
Deputies and Mohave County animal control officers found the freezer, which allegedly contained 183 frozen animals including dogs, turtles, lizards, birds, snakes, mice, rats and rabbits. Several of the animals may have been frozen alive, deputies said, due to the positioning of their bodies.
On Wednesday morning, deputies were notified that Turland had returned to the property. Investigators responded to the location, and Turland was taken into custody without incident.
When questioned in the case, Turland reportedly admitted to placing some of the animals in the freezer while they were still alive. Turland was booked into Mohave County Jail, where he remained as of Thursday on $3,000 bond.
Investigation in the case remained ongoing as of Thursday, and deputies are still seeking Beck for questioning.