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Cat killed in Rochester home invasion

"Nothing was taken," said Kaylee Pearson, whose apartment was ransacked. "She just murdered our pet."

Joey Pearson
Joey Pearson.
Contributed / Kaylee Pearson
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ROCHESTER — A Rochester woman's night out with family ended up with a ransacked apartment, a passed out woman she did not know in her apartment, and Joey, her beloved 6-year-old cat, dead.

"(Joey) was born on my closet floor and we've loved him ever since," Kaylee Pearson told the Post Bulletin. "He was very sweet and liked to hang out on your shoulders and cuddle and was very needy."

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The woman accused of breaking into Pearson's Rochester apartment Thursday, June 30, 2022, Angela Fawn Spears, 36, of Rochester, appeared in Olmsted County District Court Friday on charges related to the incident. Spears is facing charges of felony second-degree burglary, felony possession of burglary or theft tools, felony fifth-degree drug possession and fourth-degree intentional damage to property, a misdemeanor. Spears is facing a gross misdemeanor charge related to torturing an animal.

Pearson said she came home around 9:50 p.m. Thursday and when she opened her apartment door she saw that her entryway was completely disheveled.

"My paintings were all over the floor, figurines and decorations were strewn about everywhere and I could see my kitchen drawers were opened and everything was ransacked," Pearson said.

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She immediately left the building and called 911. When law enforcement arrived, they found a woman, later identified as Spears, asleep on Pearson's porch, according to the criminal complaint. Behind the porch door lay the body of Joey. The complaint states he was clearly deceased.

Spears told law enforcement that she didn't live at the apartment, according to the complaint, and Pearson said she did not know Spears nor did she give her permission to enter the apartment.

Pearson said Spears didn't seem to be in their right mind.

"Nothing was missing, things were just torn off the walls," Pearson said. "My figurines were placed in the litter box, I had things placed in plants. It was just all very bizarre."

Angela Spears
Angela Spears.
Contributed / Olmsted County Sheriff's Office

Pearson's partner observed Joey's body was still warm when he was found, according to the complaint.

"Nothing was taken," she said. "(Spears) just murdered our pet."

No blood was present and there were no obvious signs of trauma to the cat. Broken pieces of pottery were next to Joey's body, suggesting the possibility that someone threw or dropped the pottery on him. Pearson said law enforcement suggested Joey may have died from strangulation or from contact with methamphetamine. Law enforcement found about .6 grams of presumptive methamphetamine in Spears' backback.

District Judge Lisa Hayne ordered Spears to be held on $20,000 bail or bond Friday and to remain law abiding. Spears is set to appear in court July 14.

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Pearson has sent Joey's body to the University of Minnesota in order to do an animal necropsy on him to find out what exactly happened to him.

"I didn't want to be in my apartment last night," she said. "It was scary knowing that somebody violated my space."

Pearson said she's going to have to replace her door as well.

"It's hard to be here right now." she said. "I'm having to clean up the aftermath and don't want to be in this space."

For now, Pearson and her partner have the comfort of their four other cats — Joey's parents and two of his siblings — as they try to figure out what happened and why in their apartment Thursday night.

She said that they couldn't bring Joey's body anywhere last night so they wrapped him in a blanket and set him outside.

"(The other cats) cuddled with him until we took him in this morning," Pearson said. "They're definitely shaken up and skittish and in hiding. They're not acting like themselves. They obviously went through some kind of traumatic events and they've been very needy and cuddly and scared."

Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at mwasson@postbulletin.com.
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