More than two miles- that was how far a dog, tied to a car, was dragged by its owner, police said. But according to the suspect's family, it was all an innocent mistake.
Bystanders found the dog dead in the parking lot of the Walmart in Morehead City Thursday night, police said.
According to investigators, 51-year-old Robert Gillikin tied his dog, Angel, to his truck Thursday afternoon, so that she could run around outdoors. But later that day, when Gillikin went to make a run to the store, he had forgotten that his dog was still attached to his car, police said. Angel was dragged up to 2.2 miles.
Gillikin had to be paged to the front of the store when his dog was found dead in the parking lot, police said. He was reportedly emotional when officers broke the news to him.
Gillikin's brother, Dan, described the suspect as a tender-hearted person, who was devastated by what happened.
"Robert loved his dog. He thinks the world of that dog," Dan Gillikin said. "Everywhere he went,
the dog went with him. That was a part of Robert's life and that dog meant a lot to him."
Gillikin faced one felony count of cruelty to animals He made his first court appearance Friday and was released on bond.
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