AUSTIN -- Someone is cutting cats in half in a Northwest Austin neighborhood.

The Austin Police Department is stepping up its patrolsin Pecan Creek Park because of what officers say may be a troubling trend that's resurfacing here.

Kynama Wald met withpolice recently after a second disturbing discovery this month at Pecan Creek Park. Just a few weeks ago, she found a dead cat that appeared to have been cut in two.

I reported it to animal control and didn't think much of it, Wald said.

Then, a couple of weeks later, while walking her dog, she found another dead cat.

It had clearly been sliced in half at the torso, Wald said. The cut was at the same place where the other cat was cut.It was just literally two halves of a cat. Just sliced completely in a clean slice like from a machete or a cleaver or something like that. There was no other damage to the body.

Wald went home and called police, but by the time they arrived, animals had already found the carcass.

Unfortunately the body of the cat is in such a condition that there's just no way we can tell what killed it, said Sgt. Anthony Bigongiari, with APD.

After speaking to neighborhood watch residents Wald found these are not isolated incidents. She was told that two years ago severed cat carcasses were found at the park.

It's sick, said Maria Martinez, who lives near the park. People are sick.

Martinez, her brother-in-law David Gutierrez and other residents we spoke to say the news of a recurrence is disturbing and disappointing.

They are back in the neighborhood, said Martinez. They were not caught the first time. Hopefully they will get caught this time.

How would this be with the children playing? asked Theresa Jones, who lives near the park. What if they come up on something like this? It could be devastating. Whoever is doing this needs to be caught and helped.

Residents and investigators are confident someone knows something about the severed cats being left here. Anyone with information is asked to call police.

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