Veteran Accused of Executing Service Dog Found Dead

Cops suspect suicide in death of Marinna Rollins
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2017 1:50 AM CDT
Marinna Rollins   (Cumberland County Sheriff's Office via AP)

(Newser) – A veteran in North Carolina accused of laughing as she executed her own service dog has been found dead in what police suspect was a suicide. The Fayetteville Police Department says 23-year-old Marinna Rollins was found dead in her apartment around 3am Sunday morning, the Fayetteville Observer reports. Rollins and boyfriend Jarren Heng, an active-duty soldier, were charged with animal cruelty and conspiracy last month after video surfaced of them tying a 2-year-old pit bull to a tree and shooting it at close range. The dog had been registered as an emotional support animal for Rollins, who suffered from PTSD after what relatives say was a traumatic incident during military service in South Korea.

Rollins, who was originally from Maine, retired from the military earlier this year for reasons relating to her mental health, according to arrest documents. Police spokesman Todd Joyce says her body was found by friends who had gone to her apartment after being unable to reach her, the Portland Press Herald reports. "There was evidence that our detectives were able to locate that suggested this was a suicide," Joyce says. Rollins and Heng were out on $25,000 bail in the animal cruelty case. Their next court date was May 16, and people angered by the killing of the dog were planning to hold a demonstration outside the courthouse. (Read more animal cruelty stories.)

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