Norman Manganello didn't suspect anything was wrong until he and his little brother Michael were playing basketball in the front yard Monday.
It wasn't unusual to see their pet pygmy goat, Killer, lying around with a mixed-breed dog named Bruiser beside the house.
But as the basketball bounced across the yard toward the apparently dozing goat, Manganello noticed that Killer didn't react by turning his head to look toward them.
"Killer," the 17-year-old Hudson High School student said as he walked to the side of the house, about 4 p.m. Both he and Michael had seen the goat Monday morning before going to school. Killer seemed fine then. "You okay?"
Killer wasn't okay. The animal's neck had been broken, its throat had been shaved and then cut, possibly with a knife. But there was no blood on the ground near the black and white goat's body, Manganello said Tuesday.
"At first, I thought he was sleeping," Manganello said. "He didn't do anything. When I saw he was dead, I wanted to shoot someone."
Apparently, the goat wandered to or was taken to another location and was killed. The animal's body then was returned to the yard.
Another pet goat, Tilly, has been missing since Sunday night. Both animals were Christmas presents to 13-year-old Michael in 1990.
Norman Manganello reported the incident to the Sheriff's Office on Monday. He said he doesn't know of anyone who wanted to hurt the animals. No arrests had been made in the case as of Tuesday afternoon.
Ann Kielty, a neighbor, said she was at work all day Monday, so she didn't see anything that might lead deputies to a suspect.
"Those goats were cute," she said. "It's a darn shame."
Using a backhoe, the boys' father dug a 10-foot-deep hole on the edge of their property in Fivay Ranches, where Killer was buried Monday evening.
Norman says he plans to mark the grave with a cross of bound sticks or a circle of stones.