PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Bay County Sheriff's officials arrested a Panama City Beach man Friday for allegedly cutting his dog's throat then setting its body on fire.
They say they got a call shortly after midnight to a fire at an empty lot on North Lagoon Drive. After putting out the fire, crews discovered the dog's body.
They called BCSO and Bay County Animal Control then responded after investigators found the dog's neck appeared to have been cut. Animal control officials found an identification chip in the dog which led them to its owner, Matthew Wilkes, 18.
Authorities say they questioned Wilkes and he admitted to stabbing the three-year-old German Shepherd named Sampson in the rib cage, cutting his throat, and burning his body. They say he also led deputies to where he hid the knife he used to kill the dog.
Wilkes reportedly told authorities he did it because "God told him to."
He's facing charges of aggravated animal cruelty and tampering with evidence.