BAKERSFIELD, CA - There are allegations of domestic violence in Bakersfield and a connection to a dead dog, left in a conspicuous spot in Arvin.
Bakersfield police arrested an Arvin Animal Control officer. Officers say he attacked his girlfriend several times. Ten days later, city employees in Arvin discovered a foul odor coming from the city vehicle he drove, that was left parked behind City Hall.
"There was flies and the smell, fluid, running out of the compartment on both sides of the truck," said Julie Blomdahl, who first spotted the truck.
Julie Blomdahl said the smell and sight of blood dripping from the Arvin Animal Control truck caused her to call her employer who called police. Blomdahl works for Arvin Transit, right behind City Hall.
"It's been sitting in the parking lot for days and days," she continued.
A pair of public works employees made the disturbing discovery Friday morning. The chihuahua was taken to Kern County Animal Control. Officers said the dog had head injuries and was most likely hit by a car.
No one knows if the dog was alive when it was put in the truck. "We believe it was deceased based on the amount of blood that was detected," explained Louis Cobarruvias, Arvin Police Chief.
Cobarruvias is trying to determine who put the chihuahua in the truck. He said there is no record of the dog being picked up by a police officer.
"Sometimes when a dead animal is reported, they'll try to get a cardboard box to put it in and put it in there so the animal control officer can take it in the following morning," he continued.
The city's only animal control officer was arrested ten days ago and is in custody at Lerdo Jail.
"Since then, we don't know if he picked it up before he was taken into custody or whether an officer not knowing he wasn't going to be available the next day, put a deceased animal in the vehicle," noted Cobarruvias.
Tim Garza is accused of beating his girlfriend of two years at her home off California Avenue in Bakersfield. Court documents say Garza left the woman with several bruises, held a gun to her head, and forced her to record a cell phone video saying a head butt that caused a gash on her head was an accident.
Garza is also accused of raping the woman in October in front of his two children. "If he was arrested here at work and taken away in handcuffs, everyone would know his truck was sitting out there the way he left it," explained Blomdahl.
"We have to make sure that the officers know that Tim is not available. I'm sure by now they all know, but maybe at that particular time they didn't know," said Cobarruvias.
"We're investigating and we're going to find out who did it," he continued.
Arvin Police has requested someone from Kern County Animal Control temporarily fill-in while the city is without an animal control officer.
Garza denied our request for a jailhouse interview. He is scheduled to be in court Tuesday, facing seven felony charges.