Police: Utah County man drowns ex-girlfriend’s cat, texts her location of body

Utah County Sheriff's Office vehicle. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

PROVO, Utah, July 12, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — A 24-year-old Utah County man was arrested Monday after police say he drowned his ex-girlfriend’s cat in a bathtub and later sent a text with a GPS location where she could find its body.

Nathan James Peterson was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of torture of a companion animal, a third-degree felony, in connection with a May 21 incident in Vineyard, according to a probable cause statement filed in Provo’s 4th District Court.

Peterson had been living with his ex-girlfriend and her husband at their Vineyard home when he came home from work and noticed “the cat smelled of urine, and that upset him,” according to a statement from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

“He stated that it wasn’t his cat, but that the owners did not take care of it as he felt they should,” the statement continues.

Peterson told sheriff’s deputies he filled a bathtub in the home with warm water, put the cat in its crate and then placed the crate in the bathtub, according to the probable cause statement.

“He stated that the water didn’t cover it completely so he began pouring water onto the carrier until he observed feces coming from the crate,” the statement continues. After Peterson observed the cat “still moving,” he placed the crate back under the water, according to the sheriff’s office.

“After the cat stopped moving, he took it out of the water and wrapped it in a bath towel,” the statement continues.

Peterson told deputies he took the cat to a field near Payson and left the body there, according to the statement. He then sent a GPS location of the cat’s body to its owner.

“I went to the location of the GPS pin and observed what appeared to be the remains of a cat wrapped in a bath towel,” the responding deputy states.

The cat’s owner shared screenshots with deputies showing her conversations with Peterson in which he pleads with her to not file charges in exchange for him giving up his rights to their daughter.

Peterson also faces potential charges of tampering with a witness, a third-degree felony, according to the sheriff’s office. He is being held in the Utah County Jail without bail, court documents state.


  1. This should be punished by death. That animal can’t fight for its life like that man can. That man should be charged as an infant murderer. The cat didn’t chose to live there. He chose to live there and very easily could’ve lived on the streets instead of murdering an innocent animal.

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