(KMSP) - One man is in custody and has been accused of extorting money from a Delano family over the loss of their dog. However, the mystery of who killed Lou the Golden Lab has yet to be solved.
Stew Peters, a well-known bounty hunter, said he’s convinced the extortion suspect is not the same person who killed Lou. Now that the person who allegedly extorted money from the Davises has been tracked down, Peters is searching for the person who took the golden lab’s life.
Peters believes that the extortion suspect may have preyed on other victims searching for their lost pets, too.
“That’s his hustle, that’s how he makes his money,” said Peters.
According to Peters, that hustle involved the suspect using social media to find people looking for lost pets.
“If you have a loved animal that you’ve lost, he taps into your heartstrings and your emotions, and he says I have your animal—get the cash, come and meet me,” Peters explained.
The meeting spot Lou’s owners were drawn to was at the intersection of Cedar and Kellogg in downtown St. Paul. The suspect likely watched from a skyway as the Davis family of Delano left money in a windshield in an attempt to get their dog Lou back, said Peters.
Lou was first reported missing back in December. In the midst of the frantic search for Lou, the Davis family started receiving calls from a man who claimed to have the dog.
Peters said it turned out to be a bait and switch.
“He would redirect his victims,” Peters continued. “'Ok, go park around the corner and I’ll bring you your dog'... And of course, it never came to fruition.”
An ice fisherman later found Lou dead on Pelican Lake near Buffalo, Minnesota. He was apparently shot before he was dumped.
His owners are devastated and seeking justice.
“I don’t feel safe in this community until he’s caught,” Jason Davis, Lou’s owner, told Fox 9 last week. “If he can do it to a dog, he can do it to a human.”
U.S. Fugitive Apprehension has offered a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in the case.
As for the extortion, the investigation continues. St. Paul police are investigating cases involving other victims, Peters told Fox 9. More information on the case is expected to be released next week.