Action 4 Exclusive - Primera dog slaying investigated as possibly 'cult-like'

A Primera teen is at the center of an animal cruelty case described by law enforcement as "brutal" in nature.

Primera Police Chief Joe Rodriguez called it the worst case he's seen in his 14 year law enforcement career.

"I got chills just thinking about how somebody would actually do that to their pet," he said.

Joseph Adam Ortiz is accused of slitting his family dog's neck with a kitchen knife, according to the chief.

The pet Chihuahua was believed to be 1 or 2 years old.

A police report indicated the suspect's grandparents discovered the dead dog inside their home along Hancock Drive on Sunday afternoon after church.

Chief Rodriguez said the dog was nearly decapitated.

"It was a slash from the neck," he said.

Ortiz's grandparents had a serious safety concern and immediately contacted police, according to the chief.

Rodriguez said the suspect had a prior juvenile record but nothing to indicate his behavior would lead to what's under investigation by his department.

There were apparently signs of devil worship recovered from the scene.

The chief would not elaborate on exactly what was found.

Ryan: "If this was a satin, devil ritualistic killing... Could the charges change... Or be in addition to animal cruelty?"

Chief: "It would if we did discover it was a cult killing... Then it would change the outcome."

Word of the possible cult-like animal slaying had Joe Garcia, a self proclaimed pet lover, very concerned.

He lives in the same Primera neighborhood where the crime is under investigation.

Garcia feared the alleged teen's behavior was a precursor for more violent tendencies and that's not all.

"I would fear that they would expand into something of a cult situation or a gang situation... I'm not sure which but that would be my fear," he said.

It's a fear and crime, Primera police are not taking lightly.

This is the second animal cruelty case in the City of Primera in recent months.

An animal autopsy has been ordered for this latest case to determine the manner of death.

The grandparents of Ortiz told authorities they were concerned for his mental health but did not elaborate if he had any prior mental health condition.

"That will be part of our investigation," Chief Rodriguez said.