2:25 PM PDT, July 12, 2021
Investigators in Humboldt County, California, are looking into whether a beloved neighborhood peacock was shot to death as a result of a murder-for-hire plot instigated by a mysterious Craigslist ad calling for the bird to be “eliminated.”
“He liked the garden. He loved to hang out around people,” said Melissa Glass, who named the peacock “Azul” when he wandered into her yard six years ago. “And I think he just brought a lot of joy.”
“He was the neighborhood mascot. He would kind of work the neighborhood in the morning for little treats and things. Then would come over here and spend his afternoons and evenings,” Glass continued.
But then came a sickening discovery — Azul was found dead from a gunshot wound to his chest.
The sheriff’s department is investigating the Craigslist ad, which said, “The job is simple…get rid of a wild peacock that is disrupting our lives.”
It went on to call the bird loud as a car horn. The ad also came with a satellite image of where to find the bird, along with these instructions: “Please contact me so we can form a strategy to eliminate this bird, and also to agree on how much you will be compensated.”
“That in my opinion is a hit list. It’s basically a bounty on the poor peacock,” local resident Kelsey Radant told Inside Edition. She saw the ad but never in her wildest dreams thought someone would follow through.
“It just makes me sad and angry. The community up here was just absolutely besides themselves,” Radant continued.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office said that a potential suspect has been identified and a search warrant was served. No arrests have been made.
That suspect told Inside Edition that he posted a Craigslist ad looking for someone to capture the bird and relocate it to a refuge, but the ad he posted was altered to make him look guilty.