Fraternity turkey abuse investigation to resume this week

After being on hiatus for more than a month, the investigation into Beta Theta Pi’s alleged animal cruelty is set to resume with the start of the semester.  Police inquiry into the matter has temporarily been on hold because some of the students involved have been out of Lawrence due to Winter Break.

In December, the Kansas City Star, Lawrence Journal World, and the Huffington Post reported that a turkey was abused and killed at the fraternity’s annual “Turkey Pull” party on the Friday after finals week.

“Those people that were really involved in the majority of it, I don’t think we’ve had any contact with yet,” said Trent McKinley, public affairs sergeant for the Lawrence Police Department. “We still would like to talk to anyone that’s willing to visit with us about what they saw and maybe who they think is responsible.”

McKinley said alcohol was involved in the incident.  However, McKinley was uncertain of what kind of animal cruelty charges, if any, would be filed. The charges can range from  a misdemeanor to felony offenses.  Although no arrests have been made, McKinley said a report would most likely be filed to the district attorney’s office within 30 days.

“Just because class starts on Tuesday doesn’t mean everyone is going to have time to visit with us first thing Tuesday morning,” McKinley said. “This isn’t a matter of rounding people up.”

University spokesperson Jill Jess said the university expects anyone with information about this incident to cooperate fully.

“Behavior such as that reported is reprehensible and is not what KU would expect from its students,” Jess said.

Marshall Schmidt is a graduate student majoring in biomedical engineering from Mount Hope. Read more from .

  • Updated Jan. 22, 2013 at 12:31 pm
  • Edited by Allison Kohn