But when Miami Beach detectives reviewed the Franklin Hotel’s surveillance system looking for clues, they found that footage from that day had suspiciously been erased.
What they turned up led to the arrest early Wednesday of hotel clerk Georgios Lollias, 36, who admitted he shot the beloved stray cat using a crossbow in April, according to an arrest report.
The deleted footage showed Lollias hunting for Strushie while attempting to “conceal the crossbow from anyone that may be in the area,” the report said.
Then, Lollias shot into the bushes where the cat was hiding, puncturing Strushie’s skull and brain, police said.
A woman who feeds Strushie regularly later found the bleeding cat, but it could not be saved and had to be euthanized.
Rachel Johnson, a veterinarian who treated Strushie, told WPLG-TV the cat was brought to Alton Road Animal Hospital with severe injuries. Gruesome X-rays showed how the arrow penetrated through the cat’s skull and mouth.
Lollias lied and initially claimed to have found the cat, and even spoke to a local news station about the case back in April.
“I hear ‘meow, meow’ over here, right here, and that’s what happened,” Lollias told WSVN-TV, pointing to an area near a dumpster where he claimed to have found the cat.
Lollias was charged with animal cruelty and tampering with evidence. He remained in jail Wednesday afternoon. It was unknown whether he had a lawyer.
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LOLLIAS MAY END UP BEING DEPORTED
Georgios Lollias, a Greek citizen, remains at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on an immigration hold, according to online records. Lollias is not an American citizen.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mindy Glazer ordered him held on $30,000 bail in addition to the immigration hold, according to the news station. He would also not be allowed to be around any domestic animals and was required to surrender his passport, the judge ordered.
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