Pool maintenance

Family calls pool attendant a ‘monster’ after confessing to killing 16-year-old dog

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – A family mourns the death of their 16-year-old Yorkie Terrier after it is believed to have died at the hands of their pool technician, who admitted to the crime.

A surveillance camera outside the Fresno home captures the dog alive, then within minutes you can see the suspect dump the dog’s body in a trash can near the sidewalk.

After making a confession and surrendering to police Thursday night, Aaron Cumpton, 23, now faces an animal cruelty charge.

Photo of Aaron Cumpton provided by the Fresno Police Department

The photos Kim Garcia’s family have of their beloved dog Artie are all they have left to remember him.

Garcia describes Artie as a loving companion who has given her and her family 16 years of memories.

“You know, I have to explain to my four-year-old that he (Artie) isn’t here anymore, and I don’t know how I’m going to explain that to him.”

Right now, a devastating image is etched in Kim Garcia’s mind – their family dog ​​being tossed in a trash can and filmed.

“I never thought my dog ​​would be murdered, no,” Garcia said.

The Garcia family were on vacation in Dallas, Texas. Their dog sitter noticed on Tuesday night that Artie was missing, so Garcia checked his surveillance camera.

“You know I was excited because I was like oh, cool, the pool guy got it, oh cool, he got it, or maybe he brought it back to the ‘business,’ she said. “And then my heart sank when I realized what really happened.”

As she continued to watch her hope turn into her worst fear.

His pool technician was at home when Artie escaped from the backyard.

CCTV shows Cumpton grabs Artie, looks at Garcia’s house, and realizes that no one was home.

“It took me a minute to record it but I was furious when I realized what he was doing.”

Cumpton then leaves the camera’s field of view for several minutes before being seen walking towards his truck again to retrieve a cell phone.

Shortly after, Cumpton is seen walking with the dog in his arms, Artie’s body limp as he places the dog in the trash.

“I obviously expected to lose him at some point,” Garcia said. “I thought it would be old age and a decision we made, but it was taken away from us completely.”

Garcia says she is disgusted by what was captured by her surveillance camera and has filed a report with the Fresno Police Department.

The investigating officer called her after Cumpton confessed.

“He wanted to tell the truth about the whole incident, he said he was forcing the dog into the dog’s door when the dog bit him, that anger made him strangle him and put my dog in the trash. ”

She now wants justice and not in the form of an apology.

“He said he wanted to apologize by writing a letter to the family and I said we were not interested.”

Garcia says she thinks Cumpton is “a monster and I know he won’t get what he deserves because I know how the law works, the repercussions are less, but it’s clear whoever did that is a monster “.

Cumpton’s employer, Pure Water Pools, provided this statement following the incident:

“We have since suspended the employee pending the results of the investigation from the Fresno Police Department. We will continue to work with authorities to ensure this incident is dealt with appropriately and justice is served. ”

In the meantime, the realization of Artie’s departure settles.

As the Garcia family returned from vacation, Artie is not there and his body had already been picked up by their trash can company by the time they arrived.

Garcia says she was saddened that she couldn’t give Artie a proper funeral and has some hope that they will see him again one day.

“I love him so much, he will be in my heart forever, I will never forget him and I hope we can meet again someday.”