MItchelle Medina

ITHACA, N.Y. – Someone is suspected of intentionally killing cats in Collegetown by mixing a primary chemical in antifreeze with cat food. Eight cats have died from the attacks since Saturday and seven more are being treated.

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This is not the first time Ithacans have recently dealt with a cat killer.

Mitchell Medina, 23, was charged with three counts of aggravated cruelty to animals after he hanged three kittens from a tree near the Cascadilla Gorge in 2013, court documents show.

(There’s no evidence linking Medina to the new crimes, but Ithaca Voice readers have asked for information about previous animal cruelty cases in Ithaca.)

Mitchelle Medina

The following was narrated in Tompkins County Court documents:

On July 30, 2013, Medina told people at a dairy farm on Auburn Road in Groton that he was taking the kittens to Cornell University so students could adopt them.

Police estimated that the cats could have been hanged at any time from when he purchased the cats until Aug. 5, 2013.

A maintenance worker found five killed and mutilated cats that morning and alerted Cornell University Police.

“One had his head crushed, one might have died perhaps from a gun shot, perhaps from a sharp object to the head. Three were hung. Pretty serious and pretty frightening stuff, if you ask me,” said Jim Boudreau, Executive Director of the SPCA of Tompkins County, told WHCU at the time. 

On the evening of Aug. 23 Medina was taken into custody and charged with second-degree burglary after he broke into his mother’s home, threatened to blow up the house with dynamite, demanded money and threatened to kill his brother with a sword.

He was charged with hanging the three cats on Sept. 23. Police said they could only confirm that Medina killed three cats. 

Medina was found not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect in a Tompkins County court on Dec. 18, 2013.

He was sent to the Rochester Psychiatric Center for a minimum of 30 days. He was sent back to the clinic per a court order on March 6, 2014 and again on April 8, 2014.

It’s unclear when or if he was released from the clinic.

Nobody answered the door for an address listed under Medina’s name on Thursday when an Ithaca Voice reporter arrived.

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.