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Couple arrested after police find kitten taped in sandwich container

Dec 11, 2023, 3:17 PM

FILE: Cottonwood Heights police cruisers in Cottonwood Heights on Friday, June 26, 2020. (Jeffrey D...

FILE: Cottonwood Heights police cruisers in Cottonwood Heights on Friday, June 26, 2020. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — A couple with a history of drug use was arrested early Monday after police found a kitten in poor health taped inside a small container in their car.

Justin Dale Epperson, 45, and Emily Maureen Allred, 41, were booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of torture of a companion animal and drug possession.

Monday, about 2 a.m., Cottonwood Heights police spotted a vehicle with two people suspected of illegally camping in their car. The occupants were “slumped over the steering wheel,” a police booking affidavit states.

While questioning Epperson and Allred, officers noticed they were covered in cat fur. The officers then heard a “meow” coming from the back of the car.

“While doing an inventory of the vehicle, I located a kitten inside the vehicle stuffed into a sandwich container duct tape shut. The kitten had feces all over it and was in very poor health,” the affidavit states.

Police described the container as a sandwich-sized plastic Tupperware container. The head of the kitten was poking out of the container, but its body was trapped inside due to the container being taped.

The officers gave the kitten water and took it to the police department for further care until it could be taken to a veterinary clinic for examination. Police say the kitten remained in poor shape Monday.

Methamphetamine and fentanyl were also found in the vehicle. Police have requested Epperson and Allred remain in jail pending the filing of formal charges, noting, “they are repeat offenders and this time they are showing no regard to life by torturing a family pet.”

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Couple arrested after police find kitten taped in sandwich container