WINTER HARBOR (NEWS CENTER Maine) — One Winter Harbor family is holding their bulldog a little closer right now.
Until recently, they had two dogs.
“He was a really good dog, yeah," said Simon Torrey, speaking of his family pet, a pug named Frankie. "Him and Budget got along really well.”
The other was stolen and, according to Winter Harbor police, brutally and senselessly killed.
“Frankie” the dog had been missing since August 26th, when his owner’s home was broken into and his hummer returned damaged.
“My dad got a call from his sister that was supposed be watching the dogs and she was freaking out and she’s like, 'I can’t find Frankie, he must’ve ran away,'" said Simon Torrey.
Frankie had run away in the past.
This time was different.
“I came right out and said, 'did something bad happen,' you know, and they said, 'no, god no, no, no definitely didn't that didn't happen,' you know," said Frankie's owner, Phillip Torrey.
The Torrey family believes Frankie was lured to his death by two men, former friends of the family, 37-year-old Nathan Burke and 22-year-old Justin Chipman.
Police have issued arrest warrants for both men in connection with Frankie's death.
They admitted to taking the family car and the dog when the Torrey family was away overnight.
“They said that they had brought him there, and he jumped out of the car and ran away," said Simon Torrey. "In the car at the time, they had found his leash in the backseat, and on the hood of the Hummer there was a bullet casing.”
After days and nights of searching for Frankie, his body washed ashore wrapped in plastic bags onto the private property of the Hancock County District Attorney.
“Then when we found him on the beach, it was just terrible," said Simon Torrey. "It’s the way it just was, they said that, yeah, it was just terrible. They knew then that he didn't really jump out of the car and run away.”
“What you’re looking at is not your dog," said Phillip Torrey, of having to identify Frankie after he was found. "He’s beaten, shot, you know, and bloated, but then I kind of reached in and pulled his tail out and I could tell it was him.“
There are more details about what happened, just too horrific to recount.
Now that he is gone, the Torrey family is hoping for justice for Frankie.
“I had a feeling that, I kind of knew that he was dead because he had been gone for so long throughout the nights and stuff that there’s, he’s a little dog, and there’s no way he could’ve lived out there," said Simon Torrey. "There’s been times before where he’s run away and we couldn't really find him and stuff but then I found him or something like that and he was like OK but it wouldn't be overnight because it gets cold at night and he’s not like a really hairy dog, like he was really like light haired and so we knew that he probably wouldn't of made it through the nights and stuff like that but then when they found him on the beach it was just terrible."
The Winter Harbor Police Department is asking anyone who may have seen, or know where Burke and Chipman are located, to call the Hancock Regional Communications Center at (207)-667-8866.
Winter Harbor Police Chief Danny Mitchell says the department will not stop looking for these men, until justice for Frankie has been served.