VINEYARD, Utah (ABC4) – A man has been arrested after drowning his ex-girlfriend’s cat, according to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office (UCSO).

According to court documents, on July 3, a Utah County Sheriff’s Deputy was made aware of the animal cruelty incident that occurred in Vineyard on or around May 21, 2022.

He was reportedly advised by the owner of the cat that her ex-boyfriend, 24-year-old Nathan Peterson, had drowned her cat in its carrier, dumped the body on a mountainside, then sent a GPS location of the cat’s body to her.

The probable cause affidavit states that the deputy went to the location of the GPS pin and observed what appeared to be the remains of a cat wrapped in a bath towel.

On July 11, the deputy was able to locate Peterson and took him into the Utah County Sheriff’s Office for an interview. Peterson agreed to speak, and explained that he had returned home from work and “observed that the cat smelled of urine and that upset him.”

He reportedly said that it wasn’t his cat, but that the owners “did not take care of it as he felt they should.” He stated that he filled a bathtub with water, “making sure it was warm because he didn’t want the cat to be cold,” and then placed the cat inside its crate and put the crate in the bathtub.

He continued, saying that the water didn’t cover the crate completely, so he began “pouring water onto the carrier until he observed feces coming from the crate.”

At that point, Peterson reportedly removed the carrier from the water, but when he saw the cat still moving, he placed it back under the water.

After the cat stopped moving, authorities say he took it out of the water and wrapped it in a bath towel. He then took the dead cat to a field near Payson and dropped the body there, according to the booking affidavit.

The owner of the cat provided the sheriff’s deputy with screenshots of messages between her and Peterson, where he appears to be pleading with her to not file charges.

Peterson was arrested and booked into Utah County Jail on the following charges:

  • Animal Cruelty (Third-Degree Felony) – “Nathan held a domesticated cat under water until it defecated. He then removed it from the water and when he observed it still moving, he put it back in the water until it died.”
  • Tampering with Witness (Third-Degree Felony) – “Nathan pled via text message (with his ex-girlfriend) to not contact the police or press charges against him for killing her cat.”