A hunter that shot his prey by hunting animals on a Spanish farm and cut off their heads as a trophy was caught when cops matched DNA from blood in his car with blood from the corpse of a murdered deer.
Cops say he decapitated at least 15 animals during his hunting expeditions – including deer and a mouflon – and he then removed the heads as ‘trophies’.
The suspect, whose name was not disclosed, allegedly started collecting heads from the farm two years ago and a police investigation was launched in 2018.
Overall, the suspect reportedly killed over a dozen animals including fallow deer, roe deer, and a mouflon.
The incident started when the ward of the 650-hectare estate in the municipality of Villamanta in the central Spanish community of Madrid filed a complaint with the authorities when he came across six animals which had been decapitated.
Seprina officers started an investigation and identified a resident of a nearby town as a possible suspect.
Last February, officers spotted the suspect’s car parked near the farm at night and proceeded to search it.
The police reportedly found a rifle, ammunition, camouflaged clothing, a portable radio, spotlights, animal bait and a blood-splattered bag.
However, officers were unable to find an animal carcass and were unable to proceed against the suspect.
The following morning, the police carried out an extensive search of the area and managed to find a recently decapitated deer on the farm’s grounds.
The animal’s DNA was sent to the Civil Guard crime lab to compare them with blood samples found in the suspect’s car which had since been seized, according to Spanish newspaper El Mundo.
The police reportedly found a DNA match and the suspect was arrested on poaching charges.
If convicted, the man could face up to two years in prison with a fine of up to 10,000 EUR (9,015 GPB).
The suspect allegedly hunted the animals for their heads which he mounted as trophies.
El Mundo also said that some of the killed deer’s antlers can fetch prices of up to 8,000 EUR (7.212 GPB) and the police are trying to find some still missing horns.
The investigation continues.