Friday, July 27, 2012
Dara, the black Lab that was rescued after being taped up and tossed in the International Paper Canal earlier this month is not Dara after all.
According to Monica McConnell — the ex-wife of Bobby Joe McConnell, the man charged with trying to kill that dog and killing two others — the Lab is named Callie and belongs to her 12-year-old daughter.
And because her address was listed by the Sheriff’s Office as the address of her ex, McConnell said she has received death threats since the arrest was made.
Bobby McConnell was not living at the Pyatt Street address listed in press releases by the Sheriff’s Office when he was arrested last week, Monica says.
Monica McConnell said Bobby was living with a relative in North Santee when the arrest was made.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Bobby McConnell was at a residence on Demarka Drive in North Santee when he was arrested. But, according to Assistant Sheriff Carter Weaver, Pyatt Street is still considered his legal address.
Monica McConnell said Bobby was out of work and would stay with her and their kids from time to time but he bounces around from place to place.
She said he last lived on Pyatt Street for a short period about a week before he was arrested. He went to North Santee about a week before the arrest was made, she said.
Because it was reported he lived on Pyatt Street, Monica says people have been riding by staring at her home in a suspicious manner and on Friday she received an anonymous letter from someone threatening her ex-husband in very graphic terms.
According to a Georgetown City Police report, the letter stated the writer was “planning to do bodily harm to Bobby Joe McConnell Sr. for what he did to the animals.”
Mrs. McConnell said she fears for the safety of her family because of the letter and the media attention that has been given to the arrest of her husband who no longer lives at the residence, the report states.
“It has been awful. Our children are devastated,” Mrs. McConnell said this week.
Also, McConnell’s daughter is not allowed to bring their dog home because she is considered evidence in the case against Bobby McConnell.
Monica said the day after the photo of the black Lab was posted online by the Georgetown Times and other news outlets, their son and Bobby McConnell went to the Saint Frances Animal Center to try to identify the dog.
They were not allowed to see the dog, Mrs. McConnell said. Bobby McConnell was not a suspect in the case at the time.
Saint Frances Animal Center Director Wendy Goude confirmed Sunday Monica and her daughter are not being allowed to see their dog but said those are stipulations set by the Sheriff’s Office, not the Animal Center.
“It is correct that she will need a judge’s order, according to the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office,” Goude said. “We have no authority over that. Just doing what we are told.”
Three days after the black Lab was rescued, two other tape-bound dogs were found dead in the same area of the canal. Mrs. McConnell said one of those two dogs belonged to her mother-in-law but she is unsure where the other dog came from.
Weaver said Monday the black Lab is being treated the same as any other evidence in any case and no one associated with the case will have access to the dog unless ordered to do so by a court.
By Scott Harper