About two years ago, cats in the San Jose area began disappearing from their owners’ homes. Cats running away from their owners is not terribly surprising, but this was different. Rumors began to swirl around the Cambrian Park neighborhood that a man was skulking around attempting to lure cats into his possession.
It was when these missing cats began to turn up dead that these rumors began to feel very true. Two were discovered in a dumpster, another was found inside of a shoebox a few miles away from its home, and many others have yet to be found to this day. One cat was found alive and treated by a veterinarian for a “bite that was not an animal bite.”
Not long after the cats’ bodies were being discovered, video footage from one of the cat owner’s, Miriam Petrova, security camera caught something. A young man had grabbed her cat, GoGo, from her front porch. The man was quickly identified as Robert Roy Farmer, 26, the son of a retired San Jose Police Department captain.
Those who knew Farmer, family members and others, were frightened of him. He apparently has a history of abusing animals, specifically cats, and other unsettling violent tendencies. He was found on October 8, 2015 asleep inside of his car at a Home Depot parking lot. There were chunks of fur, streaks of blood, a hunting knife, and a dead cat curled up in the center console.
Farmer was charged with three felony counts of animal cruelty, one count of attempted animal cruelty, and one misdemeanor count each of battery and being under the influence. But once the blood, fur, and other items found in his car were DNA tested, the number of charges went up to 21 charges of felony animal cruelty for each cat he murdered.
Farmer pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 16 years in prison for his crimes. The judge ordered him to stay away from cats for 10 years after his release and away from the Cambrian Park neighborhood.
The bereaved cat owners attended the sentencing, reading their own statements in order to express their sorrow and anger towards Farmer. He kept his back turned away from them as they spoke.
While standing up to this sick individual might have helped some of these owners reach a kind of closure, these people have had their furry family members stolen from them. In a letter, Farmer expressed guilt over his crimes, “it feels like another man committed these crimes, but I know it was me.”
This letter has been dismissed as a manipulative tactic on his part, considering that it contradicts previous interviews with police, where he apparently displayed no sense of wrongdoing.
“It’s still painful to come home knowing GoGo isn’t waiting for us,” said Petrova at the sentencing. “Now the only image burned in our minds is GoGo running for his life.
“GoGo never hurt anybody.
“And for you, Robert Farmer – what have you done to GoGo? Where is he?”
GoGo was never found.