Jean Wolf’s tears have turned to outrage.
“I am … I’m angry,” says the owner of Andy — an emu found dead in a rural field outside New Carlisle after it was allegedly beaten to death on her Buchanan farm in the early hours of Oct. 28, then hauled across the state line for a prank.
New Carlisle police focused on two young men in the emu’s beating death and sent their findings to authorities in Michigan less than two weeks after Andy’s body was found Nov. 13.
But now, two months later, prosecutors in Berrien County — the jurisdiction where the alleged incident occurred — are still waiting for paperwork from Michi-gan State Police before they can issue arrest warrants and file formal charges.
“It’s just unbelievable,” Wolf says. “Why in the world is it taking so long? People at work are saying something else is going on in this case to hold it up. What?”
Michigan State Police Trooper Jason Sweet, who is investigating the case, said last week local animal abuse charges — felony charges, since the crime involved the death of an animal — and possible federal larceny charges are in the works.
“I’m going to submit the case (to the Niles prosecu-tor’s office) in the next cou-ple of days,” Sweet said Dec. 28.
By Tuesday, however, nei-ther Niles Assistant Prosecu-tor Cara Wilkinson nor Ber-rien County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mike Sepic had seen any paperwork on the case submitted by state po-lice.
“If we had the paperwork in hand, then we could tell you why it’s taking so long,” Sepic said.
Andy had lived on Wolf’s 10-acre animal rescue shelter in Buchanan since 2002 — when she acquired the large ostrich-like bird, native to Australia, to go with two other emus and several pot-bellied pigs plus dogs and cats she fosters for South Bend’s Pet Refuge.
New Carlisle police believe two suspects — a 19-year-old Berrien County man and a 20-year-old New Carlisle man — had been drinking before they went to Wolf’s farm shortly after midnight Oct. 28 and tried to “ride” the big bird.
When Andy struggled to run away, the 20-year-old suspect allegedly took a bat and beat Wolf’s pet emu to death.
Then the pair hauled the body to New Carlisle to play a joke on a friend.
“I had assumed Andy jumped my fence like he had done before, but he was al-ways recovered the same day,” Wolf recalls of the Oct. 28 morning when she no-ticed Andy was missing. “But this time there was no trace of him.”
Andy’s alleged killers put his body on the front porch of a friend’s New Carlisle house.
They sent a text message to the friend to “look outside at the ostrich on the porch,” police said.
The friend wasn’t amused.
“He told them, ‘I’ve done some crazy stuff with you guys over the years, but you killed an animal, you’re out of control,’” said New Car-lisle Police Chief Jeff Rose-boom.
For three weeks, Wolf put word out through the media that her pet emu was miss-ing.
On Nov. 13, a pair of New Carlisle locals were walking dogs in a remote area in the southeast section of New Carlisle when they came upon Andy’s body lying in the grass.