By Heather Collins
An arrest has been made in the case of missing bulldog, Gus, but his family is still heartbroken as they search for answers as to his whereabouts.
The 3-year-old skateboarding English bulldog went missing Oct. 4, 2017, from the Foster Estates neighborhood near 146th Street and Carey Road. A criminal investigation was launched two days later.
Reid A. Albrecht, 22, of Carmel, has been charged with two counts of felony theft in connection to the missing dog. A jury trial is set for July 5.
According to a probable cause affidavit, last October a neighbor’s surveillance system captured a maroon GMC Yukon traveling back and forth in the area around the time of the dog’s disappearance. It states that in November 2017 witnesses reported a man, later identified as Albrecht, acting oddly and walking a bulldog near River Edge Lane.
Around the time of the disappearance, Albrecht was using his boss’s maroon 2002 GMC Yukon that matched the vehicle captured in the neighbor’s surveillance video and was staying at his boss’s house until he was asked to leave when he showed up with a dog, the affidavit states.
When confronted by acquaintances about how he obtained the dog, Albrecht said he purchased it from the Humane Society or that it was owned by a family friend who was a veterinarian, the affidavit states, but the Humane Societies of Indianapolis and Hamilton County had no record of Albrecht adopting an animal from the shelter.
It also states that during a recorded phone call from the Hamilton County Jail on March 28, Albrecht asked his father to speak to the victims and tell them he stole the dog, that he would buy them a new one and that he had been living at his father’s residence the whole time and couldn’t go another day seeing the sign about the dog in their front yard.
Carmel police said Albrecht is no longer providing information about the dog or what occurred. The whereabouts of the dog is still unknown.
“There are some unanswered questions that we’d like to get resolved,” Carmel Police Dept. Lt. Joe Bickel said. “Without (Albrecht’s) cooperation, it’s going to be very difficult.”
Bickel said although the break in the case does not bring complete closure to the family, it’s a step in the right direction.
“We’re just one step closer to trying to find or identify where Gus is,” Bickel said. “Knowing that we have a suspect and we have an arrest, we’re one step closer to pinpointing the location of the dog, just like if it was a missing person.”
Gus’ owner, Christina Kiger, said her family is grateful to CPD and the Hamilton Co. Prosecutor’s Office for following up on leads and gathering the evidence that led to the suspect’s arrest.
Kiger said the best-case scenario is getting Gus home, and the second-best scenario is getting justice.
“We owe him that because he was an innocent animal that didn’t deserve to be taken,” Kiger said.
The family has left Gus’ red blanket and food bowl out in their yard as a symbol they haven’t given up hope. The family is offering a $4,000 reward for information that leads to the safe return of Gus.
Gus is a white, 60-pound English bulldog with brindle markings. Videos on the Gus is Missing Facebook page show the dog eating bubbles and riding a skateboard in his front yard. Kiger described Gus as a quirky little dog filled with personality.
Kiger said the Carmel community has been very supportive during the quest to get Gus home.
“We’re so grateful for that support,” Kiger said. “It’s been such a long, dark journey.”
To support Gus, follow Gus is Missing on Facebook.