WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) — When Autumn McCollough went to spend the night at a client where she sat animals, she asked her roommate to take care of her Oreo cat, but the next day when she returned she could never have imagined the scene where she came home. Assuming she was hiding from the thunderstorms, McCollough began checking for hiding places Oreo might have been—that’s when she found the blood.
“I checked at the usual place, but she wasn’t there. I went to the side of my bed to look under the bed and that’s where I spotted all the blood. That’s when the panic set in. I started calling her frantically and looking all over my room. There were only so many places she could be. She never went out in the house because she only liked being in my room,” she said.
McCollough found “Oreo” two years ago and she didn’t bring it home immediately, but she would hang out with it whenever she could.
“She was so affectionate and she became my cat from that moment on. I was her daughter and she was my cat and I promised her that I would take her to my house one day, I would pass by her, I would go to my mother’s house and I would see her almost every day. And I would visit her and pet her and adore her and sit with her in the gravel,” McCollough said.
When she found the blood and couldn’t find her cat, she contacted the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, when animal control deputies arrived, what happened next was her biggest great fear that has come true.
“I said, My cat isn’t here, she’s gone. And he goes away, I understand that, Madame, but is he your cat? And I said, where? And he points to my neighbor’s yard and says, lying in your neighbor’s yard… I come to the side of the house and get a better look. And there she was, lying lifeless in my neighbor’s garden. And that moment was when it all settled down, the reality of her leaving was real,” McCollough said.
The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office responded to the apartment and took a report — according to an NHCSO spokesperson, the matter is still under investigation, so it has no was able to comment on the details of the case.
His former roommate offered no information in the inquest and suggested Oreo’s death was accidental, but a McCollough says an autopsy report shows otherwise.
“He claims it was an accident or that she had to get out or whatever, but the autopsy report says otherwise… [it] doesn’t say “oh, she got hit by a car”. No. This is consistent with blunt force trauma and someone kicking her bludgeoning and stomping her to death,” she said.
As for her former roommate, McCollough said she hadn’t heard from him and moved out that day, but didn’t get a response to one of the biggest questions—if he was responsible for Oreo’s death—why?
“He was affectionate towards Oreo. That’s why I’m going to suffer complete loss and complete shock from everything that happened. It came out of nowhere. This is not normal behavior. I don’t understand not why it happened. I don’t know what got into his head to do something like that,” she said.
McCollough’s former roommate did not respond to a social media post, if he does, this story will be updated to include any responses to the allegations.
Copyright 2022 WECT. All rights reserved.